Gillies Funeral Chapel


Maurice Calvin Whitaker (Reese)

January 14, 1933 ~ May 21,2017

Visitation: Wednesday evening May 24th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm and on Thursday from 11:00 to 11:40 am at Gillies Funeral Chapel, 634 East 200 South, Brigham City, UT

Funeral services: Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 12 Noon at Gillies Funeral Chapel, 634 East 200 South, Brigham City, UT

Interment: Brigham City Cemetery


St. George - Reese Whitaker, 84, passed away peacefully in his St. George home on May 21, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. Reese was born in Brigham City, Utah on January 14, 1933. His parents were Charles Alfred Whitaker and Julia Wanitta Hunsaker. He was the youngest of three sons. Reese attended school in Brigham City, Utah, and graduated from Box Elder High in 1951. During high school, Reese played varsity football under coach Earl Ferguson, who often referred to Reese as one of the best players he had ever coached. While in high school, Reese also joined the National Guard. When his unit was called to Korea prior to his graduation, Reese was given the option to go with his unit or remain home to finish high school. Reese stayed home to finish high school and graduate on the advice of his mother and Coach Ferguson. After graduating high school, Reese played football at the College of Southern Utah in Cedar City. In 1952, he transferred to Utah State in Logan and played the rest of his college football career as an Aggie. During the summers, Reese worked as a waterfront director for the Boy Scouts at Camp Kiesel in Ogden and in the Wind Rivers of Wyoming. During Reese's junior year, he joined the ROTC and signed a two-year commitment to the U.S. Marine Corp. After graduating in the spring of 1955 with a degree in Physical Education and Recreation, Reese was assigned to Quantico Virginia and Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, for the two years of his service. During these two years, he spent six months patrolling the Mediterranean Sea with the 6th Fleet. Once his two years of service were complete, Reese joined the Marine reserves. He retired after twenty years, with the rank of a Major. Reese loved the Marine Corp and believed that "Once a Marine, Always a Marine." Reese met his sweetheart, Joan De Bloois, in his senior year at Utah State. They met in one of Reese's Physical Education classes, and were married December 21, 1955 in Logan, Utah. After Reese's two years of service were completed, the couple returned to Utah and Reese became a coach, counselor, and Administrative Supervisor at the Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah. Reese retired from the Indian School with twenty years of Federal Service in 1980. After retirement, Reese continued to work for Whitaker Construction. When Joan also retired from her work as a Placement Officer for Intermountain School, they began spending summers at their cabin in Island Park, Idaho. In 1988, Reese and Joan opened a real estate office in Island Park. Reese named the business "Rainbow Realty". The Whitakers raised their family in Perry, Utah. The family spent their summers in Island Park, where Reese enjoyed hunting, fishing, water skiing, and snow skiing in the winter with the family. They were frequently seen at Beaver Mountain and Willard Bay. After their children were grown and they had both retired, the Whitakers spent fifteen winters in Yuma, Arizona, and the last ten winters in St. George, Utah. Reese was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He held positions in Sunday School and was very involved with the Boy Scout program. Reese is survived by his wife Joan; four children: Scott David (Gail Hansen), Brett D. (Barbara Julson), Jan (Clint Farmer), Teresa (Clifford Jamile). Reese had ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by both of his parents and his two brothers, James Whitaker and Charles (Chuck) Whitaker. Reese was a generous and kind man. He loved everyone he met, and they loved him in return. He will be dearly missed by his family, friends, and neighbors. He is in God's hands now and will always be in the thoughts and prayers of those who knew him. The family wishes to thank those that were so caring and helpful during Reese's illness, including the Dialysis Center of Idaho Falls, Liberty Dialysis of St. George, Hospice of St. George, and The Sun River 2nd Branch in St. George. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 12 Noon at Gillies Funeral Chapel, 634 East 200 South, Brigham City, UT. Friends and family may call on Wednesday evening May 24th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm and on Thursday from 11:00 to 11:40 am at the funeral chapel. Interment will be held at the Brigham City Cemetery following the services, where military honors will be accorded by the Combined Veterans of Box Elder County.

Leave Condolences


Joan & family, Sorry to hear of Reese's passing. Was glad to visit with you at "Rainbow" I never knew his mother was a Hunsaker. We both go back to Abraham and Eliza. Now I know where Reese got his body and athletic ability. Our prayers are with you as you mourn your loss.

Hal Reeder


Sympathies and prayers Brett and family. Losing DAD is tough and I am thinking of you/yours in this difficult time.

Eric Heesacker


My heart goes out to your family at this difficult time. May God Bless you and help you to remember the wonderfull, happy times you all had together.

Judi Mellen



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