This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Kyle Whitaker . We will remember him forever.

Tributes are short messages commemorating Kyle, or an expression of support to his closest family and friends. Leave your first tribute here, and others will follow.

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his Life

September 2000

They began dating in April 2000. It was every other week or so. Susan had major surgery in May. June brought a family reunion on Kyle's mom's side of the family, the Eldridge side. He invited Susan to go to the reunion with him. She accepted the offer, of course. It seemed like a hundred people to her that got together at Fort Boonesborough in Winchester, Ky. Kyle's aunt, Lillie Newman, was the Manager of the Fort at Ft Boonesborough, his aunt Mallie (one half of the matchmaking pair) was a candlemaker at the fort, and Kyle himself had been employed there as the woodworker for nearly a dozen seasons before he had gotten in at LexisNexis as a technical support person in Dayton. She met many many cousins and their children, many aunts and uncles. Everyone was taking pictures. It was a very enjoyable day. They both had spent the night before and the night of the reunion at Kyle's parents' home outside of Winchester. His mom, Vada, did not approve of premarital relations so they had slept on separate floors in the home. But the supervision stopped there, and Kyle was a very sexy man indeed with ideas of his own. They had sex for the first time in that very basement that weekend. July followed the June Eldridge reunion and every July 4th meant it was time for the yearly Whitaker reunion in Blackey, Ky. So they rented a smaller car and drove to that reunion as well. They stayed overnight at Aunt Frances' house. Frances was Ivan's sister. They all had sat together on Frances' back porch and the ladyfolk decided to go in and fix dumplings and Ivan volunteered Susan to make the dumplings. After all, Vada had shown her how to do that task sometime in the past month. Frances said quietly to Susan, how about I go start the dumplings? Relief and then began a beautiful friendship between Frances, Susan and Roxie, Ivan's youngest sister. This reunion was always held at the "old homeplace" which was where Ivan, Frances, Roxie,Harlin, Charles Lee, Hiram and Jerry had grown up with their parents, Sugar Bill and Maudie Whitaker. It was interesting to say the least driving up the mountain to get to the homeplace, a task which Susan never got used to and was not crazy about attempting to drive it. None of it was paved, half of it not even with any rocks on the road..or rather a path with hair pin turns, deep ravines off both sides of the not even one car width lane. God forbid you come up against someone driving the other direction, somebody had to back up to a wider space, pull off on it and let the other person past. Many nightmares surrounded making that drive. But Kyle absolutely loved going home, so Susan did it many many times over the next 19 years. Summer ended and September finally came. Kyle called Susan on September 21..not unusual, they usually talked every evening after they both got home from work. This particular night, Kyle said he had been having this one song stuck in his brain for days..he thought REO Speedwagon sang it, it went something like "i think i love you". Susan knew the song right away and said, no, the Partridge family sang it. The next night, Kyle called again and again told the story of how that song was just stuck on repeat in his brain. Susan agreed, saying yes it was a really good song. He said, well it's kinda true. She said nothing. He said, you are going to make me say it first aren't you. She said yes i am. so Kyle finally said it "I love you". she began crying and managed to say back "i love you, Kyle". and that was that. it was said. The next weekend she went out and bought her wedding arch, she knew it would be coming at some point. 


Kyle's cousin, Suzie-a coworker and good friend of mine, called me on a Sunday evening to say she was just talking to her mom Mallie who lives in Winchester, Kentucky. Suzie's cousin Kyle, who lives in Dayton, Ohio, had been to Winchester to visit his parents, Mallie's sister and brother-in-law Vada and Ivan, and Mallie was there at the house. She asked him if he was dating anyone in Dayton. No, being nearly completely blind, he was not comfortable going to bars with his friends. Suzie and Mallie talked about this on the phone this evening, and it occurred to Suzie that her friend, Susan, wasn't dating anyone either and she and Kyle were about the same age. So this family of "fixing up people" set the wheels in motion. Suzie asked Susan if she would want Kyle's email address and Susan agreed. So Suzie sent it, Susan emailed him and waited one day. He responded the next day. They exchanged many emails, then one day Kyle called Susan. He had a deep sexy voice that should have been on the radio. The last guy Susan had gone out with had a voice higher than her's and extremely delicate hands as well-two "turn offs" for her. They decided to meet in person, so Kyle took a greyhound bus to Lima, Ohio, and Susan picked him up at the bus stop. The stop was located across the street from the largest cemetary in Lima. The stop was in fact a tombstone shop with a bus desk inside. Susan had asked Kyle how she would know it was him getting off the bus. He replied he would probably be the only one with a white cane reading "federation of the blind". She saw a handsome man with dark hair and a white cane climb down the steps of the greyhound. She went up to him and said hello. He smiled and said hello back, Susan? As he couldn't be positive without verbal confirmation. They hugged. He was a little taller than her, very nice build, black rather large glassed with very thick lens, a little mustache, wearing blue jeans and a button down shirt. He retrieved his bag from the bus driver and got into Susan's car. Suzie had told her of a nice restaurant in Lima but of course, being not too good at directions, Susan didn't find that restaurant. So she drove to St Marys, missing a few turns and going quite far out of the way through Spencerville, Kossuth and several other small towns before finally reaching St. Marys. Neither of them really seemed to mind at all, as they talked about everything under the sun. He said he wasn't concerned about if she were a person who might dump him somewhere, not liking him or whatever, as he had several friends and family members who lived in the general area and he could call any of them to get him. She thought to herself, you are absolutely gorgeous, Kyle, I would never drop you anywhere. They finally got to a restaurant, I cannot remember where, but they had a lovely supper and then she drove him to a hotel in Lima. She helped him find the room, and he was so observant, recalling how many steps it was to the front desk, verifying they did have a shuttle to take him back to the bus stop the following morning. They got him some ice and had bought some cokes to last him until he left the next day. They settled in the room to talk for a while until Susan had to leave to go back home. They had flirted quite a bit throughout the day, so they naturally did start to kiss some. It did not go any further than that, but they did enjoy the kissing. He kept his glasses on the entire time and they did get a bit fogged up. Susan gazed into those large dark frames and the thick lens just seemed to accentuate his incredibly blue eyes. She told him he had beautiful eyes and he replied, "beautiful useless eyes". Something that would be repeated many times over the next 18 years. Even though his vision was very poor, he could still at this stage of his eye disease (retinitis pigmentosa) see her face and shape and she looked lovely to him. He was the most beautiful man she thought she had ever seen. She finally left after 11pm to go back home to Shinbone, each promising they would get together again soon. He would take the bus several more times to Lima from Dayton, and Susan would begin making the drive to Dayton from Shinbone several times as well over the next three years.

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