Shirley Mae Cretchain Whitaker


Shirley Mae Cretchain Whitaker was born on March 29, 1942, to Clifton Cretchain Sr. and Mary Charles Cretchain. Shirley graduated from J.S. Clark in Opelousas, Louisiana. She worked as a babysitter for many years and helped owners L.J. and Johnny Barras of Barras Mobile Homes in Opelousas and Lafayette, Louisiana. 

In 1969, Shirley relocated and remained in San Diego, California. She worked as a manager at Huffman’s Bar-B-Que and Catering for forty years. She received many great honors for her outstanding commitment and work ethic. She was honored by the San Diego Union Tribune for her forty years of service and dedication to the community. Her family and friends were able to witness her accomplishments and celebrate her. 

In 1972, Shirley met and married the love of her life, Rufus B. Whittaker. They had another celebration of their love and marriage in large array in 1980.

Shirley had an amazingly bright smile that would light up any room. She had a big heart of pure love filled with beautiful memories of all who came in contact with her, from her family to friends near and dear. She lived a life that many will cherish forever.

On Saturday, August 20, 2022, Shirley Mae Cretchain Whitaker answered the call to leave this life and enter eternity. She was preceded in death by parents Clifton Cretchain, Sr. and Mary Charles Cretchain; brother Clifton Cretchain, Jr.; sisters Elsie Cretchain, Verline C. Terry, Patricia “Pat C” Roy, Mary Jane C. Thomas, Willie Mae Williams; and three step-children.

Left to cherish Shirley’s beautiful memories and legacy are husband Rufus B. Whitaker; son Sammy Pickney, Jr.; daughter Deloris Whitaker; sister Letha Cretchain Birotle; sister-in-law Maxine Cretchain; grandchildren Tylecia Jacquess, Tiana Lewis, Shaela Mitchell, Tyrasia Peters, Alexa Pickney, Sametria Pickney, Samyra Pickney, Alyssa Taylor Pickney, and Teondre Pickney; three step-children; a special niece Monica (Roy) Sanders; fifteen great-grandchildren; and two special friends Clara Mae Stoute and Lillie Morris.