Michael Jay Whitaker, 25, of Searcy, Arkansas was born March 11, 1988, at North Little Rock, Arkansas, to Forrest and Judy Whitaker.

Michael went to be with the Lord Friday, January 17, 2014.

He graduated from Springdale High School in 2006. Michael loved participating in Special Olympics, particularly bowling. He loved boating on Lake Ouachita, live shows in Branson, ice cream treats, "Big Cokes," and Barney. He was full of life and loved people, greeting them and shaking their hand. He was dearly loved by his caregiver Joy Riley, and her grandson Riley was his best friend.

Michael is survived by his parents Forrest and Judy Whitaker, three brothers, Paul (Lisa) Whitaker, Greg (Ashli) Asbury, Robert Whitaker, two sisters, Janet (Brian) Bainter, Shelley (Mike) Reed, and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents Forrest and Thelma Whitaker and David and Alline Byrd and his uncle David Byrd.

Family received friends Sunday January, 19, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe, Arkansas. Funeral service was held Monday January 20, 2014 at 2 p.m. at Westbrook Funeral Home Chapel with cremation to follow.

Cremation arrangements by Westbrook, a Smith Family Funeral Home. www.SmithFamilyCares.com