Reginald Whittaker, born April 23, 1925, lived all his life in Normal. His parents were Walter and Caddie Whittaker. He attended Normal Central School, graduated from Normal Community High School, and worked in the stockroom at F. W. Woolworth Company for twenty-six years. Later he worked as a janitor at GTE for more than two decades.
His sister, Josephine Whittaker, grew up in the family home purchased by her grandfather in the 1890s. She graduated from Normal Community High School and attended Illinois State Normal University. She married and lived much of her life in Normal. She worked for many years in a retirement community which later became a sheltered-care home.
Caddie Whittaker, their mother, came to Bloomington from Georgetown, Kentucky. She met and married John Duff, and had one daughter, Fay Wesley Duff. She was carrying their son John Wesley Duff when her husband passed away with typhoid fever. Five or six years later she married Walter Whittaker, who was good friends with her late husband. They then had three children, Reginald, Walter II, and Josephine. Caddie worked at the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School until Reginald started school, and she never worked again.
Walter Whittaker worked at Model Laundry in Bloomington for twenty-three years, until 1932 or 1933. After that he worked for the Works Progress Administration, then as a janitor at the Livingston Building in downtown Bloomington. He worked there until he died in 1964 at the age of 84.
This collection contains documents related to the Whittaker family. Included are photocopies of death certificates, oral history, certificates, diplomas, correspondence, ephemera, and research notes. Collection dates from 1850-1998.