James Franklin ‘Hot Rod’ Whitaker

Published 2:25 pm Monday, August 7, 2023

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Mr. James Franklin “Hot Rod” Whitaker, 85, of Mocksville, died peacefully, surrounded by his family, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023 at Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home in Winston-Salem.

He was born April 28, 1938, in Davie County to the late Oscar Roy “Buck” and Essie Mae Wall Whitaker. In 1960, he married Donna Mae Nichols and were together for 55 years until her death in 2015. He was retired from Davie County Recycling. James loved to spend his time gardening and fishing. James and Donna had a greenhouse, Nannie and Paw’s Greenhouse, on Country Lane where they raised various flowers, plants, and vegetables, until health issues got in their way. He was a “people” person, who had never met a stranger and would lend a helping hand to those who need it, as long as he was able.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by: his wife, Donna Mae Nichols Whitaker; siblings, Pauline Wall, Margie Whitaker, Oscar Gaither Whitaker, Gary Lee Whitaker, Kenneth Whitaker, and Doris Colleen Whitaker McDaniel.

Survivors include: a daughter, Annette Whitaker Steele; son-in-law, Rick Steele; grandchildren, Benjamin Steele (Sheryl), and Leslie Taylor (James); great-grandchildren, Tyler Steele, Hunter Steele, Marshall Taylor, and Ashlyn Taylor; sisters, Shelby Mullis and Caroleen Speaks; several nieces and nephews; close friend, Carlton “Preacher” Booe; beloved cat, Tinkerbell; and K-9 companion, Patches.

A memorial service was conducted at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 9 at Lambert Funeral Chapel with “Preacher” Booe and grandson, Tyler Steele officiating. The family invited friends to visit with them from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to: Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103; or Humane Society of Davie County, PO Box 937 Mocksville, NC 27028.

The family would like to thank the staff of Trellis Supportive Care and Kate B. Reynolds Hospice House for their wonderful care.

Online condolences: www.lambertfuneralhomenc.com.