Nov. 2, 1930-April 13, 2018
SHERIDAN -- Boyd LeRoy Whittaker, 87, of Sheridan died Friday, April 13, at the Tobacco Root Mountain Care Center at Sheridan.
Boyd was born Nov. 2, 1930 to LeRoy and Hattie (Nettles) Whittaker in St. Anthony, Idaho. At age three, the family moved to Melrose, Montana, where his father worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. He received his schooling in Melrose and Dillon, Montana. At the outbreak of World War II, the family packed up and moved to Long Beach, California to work in the defense plants. After the war the family moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho.
He served in the U.S. Air Force as a crash fireman; serving on bases in Washington, Guam and England. He always said he enjoyed every minute he was in the service. After the service, he worked at Plant 42, in Palmdale, California in the crash department, where they built and tested airplanes. He stayed at that department for the next ten years.
He married Shirley Jeffery on June 17, 1956, in Glendale, California.
Boyd always longed to get back up north. So, the winter of 1965 he packed up Shirley and they moved to Sheridan, Montana where his mother lived. He was so happy to be able to fish on the Big Hole River like he did as a child. He liked nothing better, than to be out on his four wheeler on a strange trail or fishing on one of the higher lakes with a buddie.
He worked as a heavy equipment operator in the local mines. He was a "CAT" man. He always wore his "CAT" belt buckle. He retired in 1998 at the closing of Montana Talc Company.
He was an avid reader and quite a student of WWII.
Boyd was preceded in death by his mother and father; nephews, Brian Eckersell and Lance Eckersell; and sister, Joyce Whittaker Eckersell.
Survivors include his wife Shirley Whittaker and numerous nieces and nephews.
A graveside military service will be held Saturday, June 30, at 1 p.m., from the Sheridan Cemetery at Sheridan, Montana.
K&L Mortuaries & Crematory of Sheridan is assisting with arrangements.