OBITUARY: William John ‘Bill’ Whittaker


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of William John “Bill” Whittaker, a hardworking man who dedicated himself to his career, his passions, and, most importantly, his family and friends. Bill was born on September 22, 1966, and passed away on February 26, 2024, at the age of 57.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Whittaker, and Elizabeth Van Pelt; his brother, Robert G. Whittaker; his previous fiance, Katy White; and his grandparents.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 15 years, Melanie Whittaker; his sisters, Bonnie (Al) Mooney from Virginia and Barbara (Micheal) Sharpe of Utica, New York; His in-laws from (Bedford, Indiana) Garry (Norma) Urtz, and Daryl (Brian) Eastwood from Canastota, NewYork; Brother in law Garry Urtz Jr. from Oriskany, New York, and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles.

Bill began his career as a business owner of Rainbow Lighting Company; he later went on to be a lighting technician, where he worked closely with numerous artists on tour. His passion for lighting design and his commitment to his work was evident to all who knew him. Bill also played an important role in the Woodstock Festival of 1999 as a member of the stage setup crew.

In 1991, Bill proudly established his pride and joy, Upstate Case manufacturing company. He dedicated 32 years of endless hours creating custom designs for each client that he worked with. In addition to Upstate Case Manufacturing, he developed the Flylite brand, which was specifically designed for stage equipment. He was known for his creativity, his attention to detail, and his dedication to his clients. In 2014, Bill moved his business to Mount Juliet, where he quickly became a beloved member of the community.

He was known for his love of jazz music. Bill was also an avid model train enthusiast, and he spent countless hours working on his collection. Bill’s passions extended beyond his work and hobbies to include taking care of the people he loved most, particularly his beloved wife. He took great pride in ensuring that she felt loved and appreciated, often surprising her with beautiful flowers whenever she needed them. Bill’s thoughtfulness and devotion to his wife will always be remembered as a true testament to his kind and loving nature.

Bill will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and colleagues. He leaves behind a legacy of hard work, creativity, and kindness. We will always remember him for his passion for life and his unwavering dedication to the things he loved. Rest in peace, Bill.

Services will be held for Bill at Sellars Funeral Home in Mount Juliet, TN 37122, on Saturday, March 2, 2024, with visitation from 9 AM to 11 AM and the funeral service at 11 AM, with a burial following at Mount Juliet Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Nashville Steam Society Inc.

Arrangements by Sellars Funeral Home at Mt. Juliet, 2229 N. Mt. Juliet Road, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122, 615-758-5459, obituary line 615-758-8818,


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