Lawana J. Whitaker: Nov. 11, 2016

Published 8:59 am Monday, November 14, 2016

ALBANY — Lawana Johnson Whitaker, 75, of Albany, Ga., died Nov. 11, 2016, at Willson Hospice House. Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church.  The Rev. William Collins and the Rev. Nate Lehman will officiate. Interment will follow at 3 p.m. in Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Americus, Ga.

A native of Fort Stewart, Ga,, Mrs. Whitaker was born to the late Garnett B. and Rosalie Carter Johnson. She was raised in Americus, Ga., where she enjoyed her childhood and attended school with friends and family who she remained close to her whole life. As a teenager, her Americus High School (1959) years were always a source of many wonderful and funny stories which she shared with her family. Mrs. Whitaker was the head majorette at Americus High School, was a member of the tennis team and also the basketball team. There were also many dances and contests she participated and reveled in.

She met and married the love of her life, Robert Hodges Whitaker, who she shared 51 years and three children.  hey settled in Albany, Ga., in 1968, and were active in the church they love, Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church. After the children were grown, she was employed with Keck and Wood Engineering. Mrs. Whitaker was very involved with the UMC Circle No. 4, served as a Sunshine Lady, and other civic organizations that allowed her to do the service work so close to her heart, especially the Meals on Wheels Program and her cancer support family activities.

Some of the best times in her life were shared among her “Golden Girl” friends, Luellen Pace, Peggy Deen and Carolyn Sumner. Many decades of shared vacations and shared family life created a beautiful bond between them.

Survivors include her husband, Robert Hodges Whitaker of Albany, Ga.; her children, Tina Hanners, Rusty Whitaker and his wife, Annell and Kathy Wise; her grandchildren, Alex Hanners, Jackie Hanners, Anthony Bates, and Datelyn Whitaker. She is also survived by her brother and his wife, Benjamin and Joan Johnson and their children, Benjamin Johnson Jr. and Jennifer Crist.

The family will receive friends from 4-6 p.m. Monday at Mathews Funeral Home.

Those desiring may make donations to Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church, 2200 Dawson Road, Albany GA 31707.

To sign our online registry or to send condolences to the family, you may visit Mathews’ website at