American Veteran 04


Gary Robert Whitaker

1942 - 2021

Rose Hill


Gary Robert Whitaker age 78 of Rose Hill, VA and formerly Sanford, NC passed away Sunday, March 7th, 2021. He was born to the late William and Juanita Whitaker on June 25th, 1942 in Middlesboro, KY.  

Gary, known to those closest to him as Bobby, graduated from Leatherwood High School and attended Cumberland College on a tennis scholarship. He excelled at tennis and passed on his love for the sport to his daughter, Cindy. After graduating from college Bobby proudly served his country in the US Army. After returning home from the Army, Bobby began what would become a long career in mining. He worked in the mining industry for 40 years and retired from MSHA in 2006. Bobby had a great love for the outdoors. Fishing, hunting and camping were a few of the things he loved to do with his family and friends. If you were looking for Bobby on the weekend your best bet was Norris or Fern Lake. His favorite fishing partner was his son Rob, who he spent countless hours on the water. After retirement Bobby and Arietta enjoyed many of their weekends relaxing at the beach or in the mountains with their oldest granddaughter, Brooke, panning for gold or gemstone mining. Bobby loved his grandchildren and was especially proud to be Brooke and Annabelle’s Papaw. 

Bobby was always someone you could go to for the best advice on any subject. He had a great love for history and could probably write a book on the Civil War. While he might be a little stubborn, that trait is not only matched, but far surpassed by his kindness and generosity. It goes without saying, he will be greatly missed. 

Bobby is survived by the love of his life, Wife Arietta, Daughter Cindy Ortiz, Son Rob Whitaker, Son in Law Michael Ortiz, Granddaughters Brooke Young & Annabelle Ammons, Great Granddaughter Everleigh Bryce Natale and his Sister Shirley Napier and Brother in Law, Irving Napier. As well as a host of brother and sisters in law, nieces and nephews. 

All services for Gary Whitaker are private. 

Register book and online condolences are available at

Cawood Funeral Home in charge of all arrangements.


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Cawood Funeral Home

112 South 21st Street, Middlesboro, KY

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Alva and Ann Cunningham

March 17, 2021 9:58 PM

  we have known the family for many years sorry about your loss and praying for you at this time. Alva and Ann Cunningham

Jennifer, Garrison and Corrine

March 17, 2021 11:42 AM
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A Memorial Tree was ordered in memory of Gary Robert Whitaker by Jennifer, Garrison and Corrine.  Plant a Tree

John Cooper & Chris Tacia

March 17, 2021 9:23 AM
A Tranquil Light

A Tranquil Light was purchased for the family of Gary Robert Whitaker by John Cooper & Chris Tacia.  Send flowers

sue whitaker

March 17, 2021 7:52 AM

We were so sorry to hear of Bobby's passing...we will always cherish the times spent at Papa Jimmy's and Christine's with you guys. You will all be in our prayers...know that you are loved
Pete and Sue

James (Jr ) and DJ Keene

March 16, 2021 10:50 PM

Arietta, Cindy, Rob, and family you are in our thoughts and prayers during this time may God give each of you comfort.

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