• Douglas Whitaker

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  • Douglas A. Whitaker’s U.S. Army service began on November 9,1953, after he traveled by Greyhound bus from his small hometown of Benson, MN to the Army Induction Center in Minneapolis. What followed for him during the next three years were memorable, meaningful and often enjoyable experiences filled with lasting lessons and long-time friendships, some of which continue to this day.  As Doug has said, “I sought a chance to find a sharper focus for my life, and I left the Army having found it…the total experience gave me motivation and direction for the years that followed.” 

    After completing basic training at Fort Riley, KS Doug proceeded to Fort Devens, MA, where he passed a stringent test that qualified him for a year of Chinese language training at the Army Language School in Monterey, CA.  He then received assignments to Japan and later Taiwan, where he spent fourteen months of duty monitoring radio transmissions from mainland China.  Doug was discharged from active duty at Fort Lewis, Washington on September 27, 1956 and arrived back home in Benson the next day.  Three days later he boarded a train for Minneapolis to start his new civilian life as an incoming student at the University of Minnesota. 

    Doug married Karel in 1959, and they settled in Northville in 1968 where they raised their children Steve, Dan and Mary and are today proud grandparents of six.  Doug served on the Northville Board of Education for many years, and both he and Karel have supported various community organizations over the years as well as being active members of the First United Northville Methodist Church.  Doug and Karel are still enjoying the home on Grace Court that they’ve lived in for more than fifty years.  They frequently reflect on the many blessings they have received, one of which was to discover the City of Northville so many years ago.   

    — The Whitaker Family