George Herbert Whittaker
December 22, 1919 – August 26, 2013
George Herbert Whittaker was born in 1919, in Bon Accord, Alberta near Edmonton. Active in all sports he completed high school and then attended Vermillion Agricultural College. In 1941 he joined the Air Force; on graduation he received a Commission and was posted to Bombing and Gunnery Schools where he served as Officer Commanding Bombing Flight at Mossbank, Saskatchewan until 1945. After Honourable Discharge from the Air Force George joined the radio and appliance firm of Moore Sales Ltd in Vancouver, B.C. He managed it until 1946 when ill health forced him to leave the area. He moved to Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley where he purchased an orchard. George had married Anna Marie Moore in 1944; tragically, in 1950 she died leaving three sons, Ron, Rick and John. In 1951 George married Betty May Jackman, a widow with one daughter, Wendy. Subsequently they had another daughter, Betty-Ann. George became involved in the affairs of the fruit industry in 1953. In 1954 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Kelowna Growers Exchange Packing House, where he served for twelve consecutive years, eight of them as President. He served on the Board of Directors of B.C. Tree Fruits Ltd/Sun Rype Products Ltd. He became President of these combined companies until 1972. George travelled extensively throughout fruit and vegetable-growing areas of Canada and other countries, viewing their fruit growing operations and garnering new methods for Kelowna growers. During this time George was elected to the Kelowna and District Hospital Board. He served as Vice-President, Chairman of the Building Committee and was on the Executive Committee for nine years. In 1971 George became Director of the Horticultural Council based in Ottawa. In 1972 he resigned from all positions in the fruit industry, after serving fruit growers for nearly twenty years. He was approached by the Progressive Conservative Party to run in the Okanagan Boundary riding in the upcoming federal election. George won three elections in 1972, 1974 and 1979. On arriving in Ottawa he found he had one of the largest and most diverse ridings in Canada. George was an avid outdoorsman, particularly enjoying hunting and fishing. He retired to South Surrey in 1980 where his wife Betty died in 1992. In 2000 he moved to Penticton and in 2003 resettled in Kelowna where he lived with his partner Maria Veenbrink in Sandalwood and finally Missionwood retirement homes, where he made many friends. He will be sadly missed. No Service by request. Arrangements in care of First Memorial Funeral Services, (250) 762-2299.