LITTLE ROCK, AR – The Arkansas Legislature is mourning the loss of a state senator from northwest Arkansas.
On Twitter this morning, ?@SenateAR posted the following:
The Arkansas Senate mourns the passing of former State Senator Ruth Whitaker (R-Cedarville). Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Whitaker served District 3, which includes Crawford, part of Washington, and Franklin counties. She had served as chairman of the Senate Rules, Resolutions & Memorials Committee
The Governor’s Office issued the following statement on Whitaker:
“Ruth Whitaker was a strong, independent Arkansan who didn’t fear anyone or shy away from anything. While we didn’t always agree politically, most conversations between Ruth and me would still end with both of us laughing. She carried a deep love of Arkansas and her people, and I will miss her wry smile and sensibility.” – Governor Mike Beebe
Additional biographical information from the Arkansas Legislature website states that before serving in the Senate, Whitaker served as a city alderman in her hometown of Cedarville.
She is a former PTA president, and activist for the Arkansas Heart Association, March of Dimes and organizations supporting cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. An active member of her local chamber of commerce, she is an avid fundraiser.
Senator Whitaker has long been active in her political party. She is a current member of the Arkansas Federation of Republican Women and past president of the Women’s Auxiliary to the American Medical Association of Sebastian County. She was elected secretary of the Arkansas State Republican Party from 1992-1994 and has held other appointments in the state party, including vice-chairman and parliamentarian. She is a lifetime member of the American Legion Auxiliary and the Alden Kindred of America tracing her lineage back to the first settlers aboard the Mayflower.
Senator Whitaker has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hendrix College in Conway.