Judy Whitaker Leaves Long Legacy As Politician, Humanitarian, In Granite City
GRANITE CITY - Former Granite City City Clerk Judy Whitaker leaves a long political legacy and humanitarian career in her beloved city. Judy died on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.
She was first appointed City Clerk in 1994 by then-Mayor Ron Selph, and was elected and served in that position until May 1, 2021, when she retired. She was born in Granite City and was a resident there her entire life. Judy served Granite City for nearly 50 years.
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She started as a precinct committeewoman in 1974 and continued in that capacity until the present day. She also served as a Democratic State Committeewoman in her precinct committeewoman capacity.
Prior to her city clerk election, Judy was elected and served as an alderwoman in the Sixth Ward from 1984-1985.
She served on a variety of council committees from sanitation, pollution control, insurance, D.A.R.E., past beautification program, street and alley, fire water and ambulance, and police committees.
Judy spearheaded and re-established Santa's Cabin and in 1997 she began the Santa's Holiday Program Parade in Granite City.
Judy also helped to reinstate the Neighborhood Watch Program in Granite City.
“Judy provided the community of Granite City a lifetime of dedication and opportunities for making family memories with the Santa’s Cabin and Santa’s Holiday Avenue Parade,” Mayor Mike Parkinson said.
Judy was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church and the Ladies Eagle Auxiliary #126 and the Lady Elkettes. She was also a member of the Madison County Police Association and a Madison County Human Society member.
She was married to her husband, Walt, for over 58 years. He preceded her in death in 2019. Walt was a retired coach, teacher, and school board member in the Granite City School District. They have two children, Kristy Jo Whitaker-Bassler (Paul Bassler) and Mark Whitaker, and two grandchildren, Hunter Bassler, 25, and Samantha Bassler, 23, along with many pets throughout the years that she loved dearly.
Mayor Parkinson had the best way to describe how the majority of those in Granite City feel today about Judy: “She will be greatly missed.”
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