Whitaker is fondly remembered in Granite City

GRANITE CITY – Former Granite City Clerk Judy Whitaker is known for her professionalism and empathy.

Whitaker died on Wednesday, January 12. Appointed Granite City City Clerk in 1994, she was re-elected to the position several times and served until her retirement last year.

“Judy has provided the community of Granite City with a lifetime of dedication and opportunities to create family memories with the Santa’s Cabin and the Santa’s Holiday Avenue Parade,” said the Mayor of Granite. City, Mike Parkinson. “She will be greatly missed.”

In Granite City, she had been a resident of the city for most of her life. She grew up in Madison and was active in both communities for most of her life, becoming a member of the Granite City precinct committee in 1974 and serving in that position until her death.

Prior to becoming city clerk, she served 10 years, from 1984 to 1994, as an alderman for the 6th Ward in Granite City. During this service, she chaired several City Council Committees including Sanitation, Pollution Control, Insurance, Dare, Past Beautification Program, Street & Alley, Fire, Water & Ambulance and Police.

In 1996, she and a committee of city leaders restored Santa’s cabin. The following year, she started the Santa Claus Holiday Avenue Parade in Granite City. She was also instrumental in re-establishing the citywide Neighborhood Watch program.

Whitaker was a member of the Holy Family Catholic Church, Ladies Eagle Auxiliary No. 126, Ladies Elkettes, Madison County Police Association, and Madison County Humane Society.

She and her husband, Walt – coach, teacher, and school board member of the Granite City School District – were married for 58 years; he died in 2019. Their children include Kristy Jo Whitaker-Bassler (Paul Bassler) and Mark Whitaker; their grandchildren are Hunter Bassler and Samantha Bassler.

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