Cover photo for Orn "Chuck" Whitacre's Obituary
1929 Orn 2021

Orn "Chuck" Whitacre

January 9, 1929 — May 6, 2021

Orn “Chuck” Whitacre, 92, passed away on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at his home in Hudson, IL.

Chuck was born in Flanagan, IL, on January 9, 1929, the son of Orn Scott and Ollie Juanita (Duckett) Whitacre.  He married Helen Ilene Vandegraft on August 27, 1948 in El Paso.  She preceded him in death on October 9, 2020.

Survivors include a sister, Margret Joyce Volk of Eureka; a son, Rick (Gwyneth) Whitacre of Hudson and a daughter, Susan Matthews of Hudson; six grandchildren, Matthew Davison of Normal, Mollie (Jon) Webb of Wildwood, MO, Andrew (Michelle) Whitacre of House Springs, MO, Christopher Whitacre of Bloomington, IN, Jessica Otto of Danvers, IL, Ben (Cori) Whitacre of Danvers; and nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, Randy Whitacre and Philip Whitacre; two sisters; and a brother.

Chuck was a member of the Hudson Christian Church. He worked side by side with his wife, Helen, in several businesses.  They were Dairy Herd Improvement Supervisors in the 1950s. Chuck also installed some of the first bulk milk tanks in Central Illinois and was a founder and manager of EL Paso Pellets Unlimited in EL Paso, IL. They were commodity futures brokers in the 1970s and 80s, and they were the owners of Whitacre’s Furniture in Hudson, IL. He enjoyed building houses and remodeling homes with his sons and grandsons. Woodworking and traveling were his joys. Helen and Chuck visited every state in the union except for Hawaii.

Chuck was a very giving individual. He built furniture for charity events, volunteered at the Midwest Food Bank and organized a food pantry at the Hudson Christian Church.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, May 11, 2021 from 5-7 p.m. at Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home in El Paso. COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing will apply. Private family services will be held at the Hudson Christian Church with Pastor Brandon Current officiating. Burial will be in Hudson Township Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Online tributes and condolences may be made at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Orn "Chuck" Whitacre, please visit our floral store.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Orn "Chuck" Whitacre, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

5:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)

Ruestman-Harris - El Paso

40 W Main St, El Paso, IL 61738

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310 Clinton St.

, Hudson, IL 61748

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