Born: 2 Nov 1941
Died: 14 Jul 2018
At the age of: 76
Spouse: Cleta Louise Whitaker
Children: Travis, Cassidy
Parents: Wayne & Lois Peterson Whitaker
Denton LeRoy Whitaker, 76, of Malta, Idaho, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on Saturday, July 14, 2018, at University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Denny was born on November 2, 1941, in Albion, Idaho; the second of four children born to Wayne and Lois Peterson Whitaker. Denny grew up in Malta and attended elementary through high school; graduating from Raft River High School in 1960.
Denny started helping his father haul milk from an early age and after attending Utah State University, he returned to Malta to help run the family milk hauling business and ranch.
On August 7, 1964, Denny married his high school sweetheart, Cleta Louise Taylor, for time and eternity in the Logan Utah LDS Temple. Soon after they married, Denny and Cleta purchased a farm south of Malta, where they raised crops, cattle, and horses for more than fifty years. They also continued to run the family milk truck business, along with the ranch in Elba during this time.
Denny inherited his love for cattle and horses from his father and grandfather and was a member of the Elba Cattle and Horse Association. One of his greatest passions was breeding and owning race horses. In his lifetime he sent hundreds of horses to the flat track all over the Intermountain West. This passion also evolved into a love for cutterhariot racing that took place during the winter months.
Denny earned many awards, which included multiple Leading Owner and Leading Breeder, Horse of the Year, Regional Champions, Flat Track and Chariot Racing Records, as well as a World Record.
Denny had a contagious laugh and an infectious smile that lit up the room. He enjoyed visiting and joking with friends and family and was loved by many. His greatest joy was his family and he was proud of all of their accomplishments. He enjoyed spending time with his grandkids, who could always be found at Papi’s house. He taught them many things about farming, ranching and the horse and cattle business.
Denny is survived by his two sons, Travis (Jennifer) Whitaker and Cassidy (Amber) Whitaker all of Malta; grandchildren, Taylor (Grant) Stevenson of Paul, Taryn Whitaker attending Utah State University, Tani Whitaker attending BYU-Idaho, Trace Whitaker, Tate Whitaker, Treg Whitaker, Laci Whitaker and Tegan Whitaker all of Malta; great-grandson, Rhett Stevenson of Paul; sisters, Sharon Hutchison of Malta, and Renee (Denny) Ward of Burley; sisters-in-law, Glennette Brackenbury of Albion, Donna Harper of Burley, and Vera (Jack) Hutchison of Provo, Utah; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Denny was preceded in death by his wife, Cleta; parents, Wayne and Lois Whitaker; brother, Art Whitaker; parents-in-law, Glen and Susan Taylor; brothers-in-law, Gerald Brackenbury and Tinker Hutchison; sister-in-law, LaRene Whitaker; and a granddaughter, Timber Whitaker.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 24, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Malta Ward, located at 280 N. 1st St., with Bishop Dallan Spencer officiating. Burial will follow at Valley Vu Cemetery in Malta.
Friends may call from 6 until 8 p.m. Monday, July 23, at Rasmussen Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, and from 10 until 10:45 a.m. prior to the service at the church.