Melvin D. Whitaker, 81, of Palestine, Texas died Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 at Evangelistic Temple in Palestine, Texas while serving the Lord teaching Sunday Bible class.
He was born Sept. 16, 1932, in Old Gulf, Matagorda County, Texas to George Martin Whitaker and Lenora Spears Whitaker. He was one of three children. He was a member of the Evangelistic Temple in Palestine where he was a past Elder and Bible teacher.
He worked as a trial-appellate attorney from 1959 to 1973 and served as District Attorney 173rd Judicial District for 11 years from 1973-1984 for Anderson, Houston, and Henderson counties. He was Judge of the 349th District Court of Texas from 1984 to 1992 and served as a Senior Visiting Judge in the Drug Courts in Dallas, Texas from 1992-1993. He re-entered the trial-appellate law practice with his son in 1994, and formed the Law Firm of Whitaker & Whitaker, where he was still practicing law fulltime at the time of his death.
Melvin served as Finance Commissioner for the City Council of Palestine, Texas from 1972-1973. He graduated from Baylor University with a B.A. Degree and Baylor Law School with a D.J. Degree where he was editor and chief of the Baylor Law Review in 1958. He was president of Baylor Law School student body in 1958. He also was a former president of the Anderson County Bar Association and was State Junior Bar Representative - 2nd Congressional District from 1960-1962. He served in the United States Marine Corp. during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953.
He was preceded in death by his parents of Houston, Texas; and his brother, Marvin Lee Whitaker, of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Melvin is survived by his wife of 57 years, Emma Lee Moore Whitaker of Palestine, the daughter of Thomas Jeffery and Gladys (Bailey) Moore Sr. Melvin met his wife Emma Lee while attending Baylor University and fell in love at first sight. They were married in the Chapel of the Tidwell Bible building on the campus of Baylor University at Waco, Texas on Dec. 1, 1956.
He is also survived by a daughter, Karen Marie Whitaker Hardwick of Garland, Texas.; a son and law partner, Stuart Lee Whitaker of Palestine, Texas; and a sister, GayNell Blackstone of Huntsville, Texas.
Grandchildren include Keadan Bryce Whitaker and wife, Hope Whitaker, Kali Danielle Whitaker, Kirsti Marie Whitaker, Kanon Dean Hardwick, Kooper Dean Hardwick and Brooke Colston; and four great-grandchildren, Aidyn, Lexi, Maddie and Memphis.
Honorary pallbearers are the Anderson County Bar Association.
A memorial service will be held at Evangelistic Temple in Palestine, Texas on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 at 10:30 am. Arrangements are under the direction of Bailey & Foster Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, you may make donations to Evangelistic Temple 3011 N. Loop 256 Palestine, Texas 75803.