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Jeffrey "Jeff" Whitaker '83 August 16, 2021 4:02 PM updated: August 17, 2021 4:42 PM

Captain Jeffrey Charles Whitaker
June 27, 1961 - August 14, 2021

Captain Jeffrey Charles Whitaker passed away on Saturday, August 14, 2021, after a long battle with progressive supranuclear palsy; he was 60 years old.

Jeff was born June 27, 1961 to Mike and Anne Whitaker in Bryan, Texas. During his life, he earned many names and titles: son, brother, father, Marine Corps Captain, computer genius, shameless geek, patent holder, loyal aggie, business owner, and faithful child of God, among many others. His life left a mark on too many people to count, so as he would often quote from his beloved Princess Bride, “Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

In his childhood, Jeff played little league baseball and was a member of the Boy Scouts. He developed a close early relationship with God and was baptized at age 11, beginning his lifelong journey as a Christian. As he got older, he excelled in academics and discovered his inner geek, playing Dungeons and Dragons whenever he wasn’t at school or practicing cello. He was a national merit scholar and graduated from Brazoswood high school in 1979.

Jeff attended Texas A&M University in College Station. He was part of the Corps of Cadets during his time there, achieving the rank of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, becoming Fifth Battalion Commander, and receiving the Wofford Cain Boot and Saber Award. He was also a member of the Ross Volunteers. Even with his many commitments, he still made time for God in college and was a member of Aggies for Christ. He graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from the university in 1983, though his heart never truly left.

After college, he joined the United States Marine Corps as an officer. He was a Desert Storm veteran and earned many awards during his service, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the National Defense Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal (Desert Shield and Desert Storm), the Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one star, the Saudi Arabia Liberation of Kuwait Medal, and the Kuwait Liberation of Kuwait Medal. He had reached the rank of Captain when he transitioned to civilian life.

Jeff worked for many tech companies and had a number of impressive achievements. He worked for Tigon, helping to pioneer voicemail. He was a Director of Technical Management for Paranet which later became Sprint. He traveled the world working as a global manager for Check Point until he quit because his first child was about to be born and he didn’t want to miss a single day. He owned a business called IT Avenues. He worked for Level 3 Communications, the world’s largest IT network, as a Senior Network Engineer and Solutions Manager. He got a patent for network reporting with them. He worked for several startups like Gazzang and Ticom Geomatics. His last job was Senior Staff Systems Engineer for Visa.

Jeff often indulged his inner geek in his free time, playing Diablo or Guild Wars or rewatching movies and shows from his favorite fandoms. He loved Monty Python, The Princess Bride, Firefly, Flash Gordon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings, to name a few. He quoted these works daily, laughing to himself every time. He even played a scene from Flash Gordon at his wedding. His passion was contagious and he passed on his favorite fandoms to his family.

In March of 1992, Jeff met Ginger at the dental office where she worked. They both knew immediately that they had found their other half. Jeff married his wife Ginger on July 23, 1994. They traveled often for his work, exploring the world together. They built a house together, gardened, and hosted parties for their friends on Fridays. They collected decorative eggs, Nagels, and, most importantly, four cats. Jeff shared a special bond with their first cat, Cricket, calling her one of his truest friends. He loved all kids with a gentleness surprising for a fierce Marine, especially his nieces and nephews. When he finally had his own, though, they were his whole world.

Jeff and Ginger had three children, Tara, Tessa, and Travis. He read them stories and sang songs to them before bed each night. He attended baseball games and dance recitals, even helping to coach Travis and practice baseball with him in the backyard. He was dedicated to helping his children succeed, even in selling girl scout cookies. He spent years with Tara and Tessa taking them door to door. He was always there for Father-Daughter dances and Sock Hops. He even coached all of them for spelling bees with incredible commitment. Most importantly, he was a Christian role model for his children, praying with them, teaching them, and baptizing those he was able to baptize. Jeff was an accomplished man, but perhaps his greatest gift was his big heart, making him the best father a person could ask for.

Jeff’s most important relationship was with his God. He started his walk when he was baptized at 11. After that, he demonstrated the love of God with his words, with his actions, with his time, and with his money. He always said he didn’t feel called to become a missionary himself, so instead, he would support them. He donated money to the South African Bible College his whole life, he supported his missionary cousins, and he provided scholarship money for missionary kids. He took care of people in the name of the Lord and his generosity had a huge impact on the world. He was also an incredible Christian role model for his family, instilling his love of God in them. His favorite verse was Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” He lived his life by these words.

Jeff is survived by his wife, Ginger Whitaker, his daughters, Tara and Tessa Whitaker, his son, Travis Whitaker, his brothers, Kevin and Roger Whitaker, his sister, Laura Tilley, his parents Mike and Anne Whitaker, his Old Lady, John Kane, and many brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles, as well as many lifelong friends.

In place of flowers, memorials may be made to Brentwood Christian School in Austin, Texas.

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