February 20, 2013


DEC. 16, 1936 — FEB. 20, 2013

OSKALOOSA — Gerald “Skip” Whitlatch, 76, of Oskaloosa, died Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, at Crystal Heights Care Center in Oskaloosa. 

He was born Dec. 16, 1936, at Pella, the son of Anna Meidma Whitlatch. He attended school in Pella until the third grade, when the family moved to Oskaloosa and Skip finished his schooling in Oskaloosa. He attended the Salvation Army Church in Oskaloosa. Early on, he went to work at Floor Brothers & Shaw Meat Market in Oskaloosa. He served in the U.S. Navy, until his honorable — medical discharge. On July 20, 1957, Skip was united in marriage to Shirley McFadden in Oskaloosa. In 1954, he went to work for Rolscreen in Pella (now Pella Corporation), he worked there for 43 years until retiring in 1997. Shirley was the center of Skip’s life. He delighted in spending time with all of them but was especially fond of his grandchildren. He and Shirley made countless trips to ball games and band events to watch their children and grandchildren perform. Skip was an avid mushroom hunter, his goal was to be the first one to the secret spot to ensure his sack was the fullest at the end of the day, often times risking life and limb to achieve that goal. He was notorious for decorating his home on Ninth Avenue East for every holiday. He took great pride in his decorations and enjoyed many awards; and articles and photos that the Oskaloosa Herald printed honoring his hard work. Two of Skip and Shirley’s traveling highlights were a trip to Graceland and a band trip they took to Canada. He also enjoyed fishing, and watching racing. Skip was very outgoing and always enjoyed visiting with people. He was a devoted husband.

His family includes his wife of over 55 years, Shirley Whitlatch, of Oskaloosa; three children and their spouses, Lyle and Nancy Whitlatch, of Oskaloosa, Aron and Diane Whitlatch, of Beacon, and Jodi and Steve Hiemstra, of Oskaloosa; 14 grandchildren, Heather, Terry, Michael, Johnny, Ben, Dustin, Nathan, Tabitha, Shannon, T.J., Gillian, Sean, Gibb, and Aundrea; 17 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and cousins; a half-sister, Mary Whitlatch, of Fort Madison; and special friends, Jack and Mary Long.

He was preceded in death by his mother; a son, Gary Lee Whitlatch; his father and mother-in-law, Homer McFadden and Helen McFadden-Hanson; a brother, Marvin Whitlatch; a sister, Debbie Atchison; and an aunt and uncle Ruby and Jerry Rozenboom.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m. in the Bates Funeral Chapel in Oskaloosa with Pastor Alvern Boetsma officiating. Burial will be in the Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa. The Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Visitation will begin Friday morning after 10 a.m. in the Bates Funeral Chapel and the family will be at the funeral chapel from 6-8 Friday evening to greet friends and relatives. Memorials may be made to Crystal Heights Care Center Activity Fund.

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