James Albert Whitley, Jr., 84, adored and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather has been called home on March 31, 2015 and is in the loving arms of his Lord in his new home of eternal peace in heaven. The viewing will be at the funeral home one hour prior to the service between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm. The funeral service and interment with military honors will be at 2:30 pm, Thursday, April 2, 2015 at Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home and Rosewood Memorial Park. He is survived by his loving wife Dorothy of 63...
James Albert Whitley, Jr., 84, adored and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather has been called home on March 31, 2015 and is in the loving arms of his Lord in his new home of eternal peace in heaven. The viewing will be at the funeral home one hour prior to the service between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm. The funeral service and interment with military honors will be at 2:30 pm, Thursday, April 2, 2015 at Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home and Rosewood Memorial Park. He is survived by his loving wife Dorothy of 63 years; two cherished daughters, Cindy Stanley and Cathy Whitley; a daughter in love, Carolyn Cox; a dear son in law, Allen Stanley; two precious grandchildren, Jamee Bosarge and Jason Stanley, along with their spouses, Scott Bosarge and Rachel Stanley; two amazing great grandsons, Hunter and Noah Bosarge; a brother, Michael Whitley and Esther; sister in laws, Lucille Hamilton and Helen Musselman; brother in laws, Sam Hamilton and Ralph Musselman; and his beloved dog, Baby. He loved his family and was always there in the good times and bad. You could always depend on him if you needed anything. The most important thing in his life was spending time with his family and enjoying everyone gathered together around the table on holidays and special occasions. God blessed him with a great personality and an amazing voice. He performed not only at church, but traveled to local nursing homes to perform for the elderly that were not able to get out. He said it made him happy to see them smile, sing along, and some would even dance. Jim was a dedicated Deacon in the Baptist church for 33 years. Even when he was in the hospital during Thanksgiving, he sang Christmas songs from his bed for staff and patients therefore giving them the gift of music, joy, and hope. He always was a person to give to others and not think about himself. In 1951 he joined the Army and was awarded the "Occupation Medal," "National Defense Service Medal," and "Good Conduct Medal." He was very proud of all the Army training schools he attended, and passed, with high achievements during service to his country. He earned the rank of Sergeant after just 3 years of service at the time of his honorable discharge. He touched the hearts of everyone he knew and he will be greatly missed. Jim dearly loved his church and church family. His desire for it to grow and continue to lead people to Christ prompted him to request that in lieu of flowers donations be made in his honor to Discovery Church 4881 Euclid Road Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462 757-497-6541. Please visit Mr. Whitley's memorial at www.kellumfuneralhome.com
Celebration of Jame's Life
He was born James Albert Whitley, Jr. on April 30, 1930 to Alice and James Whitley in Norfolk, Virginia. At the time of his birth America was in a deep Depression. During this time of little few material positions his Lord and family were most important. His mother Alice was from an influent family that owned a dancing school in Petersburg. Alice learned to dance at an early age and taught her little Jimmy to dance. His fondest memory of his mother is all those years that they would dance together. Today they are dancing together on streets of gold. James joined the Boyscouts at an early age and headed up a metal collection drive in Norfolk during World War II. His troop did such an amazing job that the military transported him and his troop to Norfolk Naval base and General Eisenhower presented him with a metal for his patriotic work.
His life changed forever in 1947 on the steps of Blair Junior High school. He being a dare devil he was riding his bike down the high staircase and almost ran over Dorothy walking down the staircase. Dorothy thought he was the cutest guy she had ever seen and she would borrow pencils from him every day while they were changing classes in school just to talk to him. She finally got him to walk her home and he was hooked! When they sat on her mom's front porch a girl in the neighborhood would come down to try and meet him to go out with her but he does not even remember the girl. He said Dorothy was a real beauty. It was love at first sight. It was a love affair that lasted 63 years.
On February 23, 1951 he joined the Army and served in D Company 102nd Infantry. He married Dorothy on June 28, 1951 and then left his bride for 18 months to serve in Germany. He was decorated with an "Occupation Medal (Germany)"," National Defense Service Medal", and "Good Conduct Medal" during his three years in service. He loved to tell his family all the Army stories about Germany and his travels through Europe and all the Army training schools he attended. One proud moment was when he saved a comrades life when a mortar misfired. Jim was very proud of his ranking as Sergeant during the time of his honorable discharge and I know he is proud of the young Army soldiers that are honoring him today at his graveside and serving their country with pride as he did.
Upon returning to Norfolk, Virginia and his beautiful bride he went back to school to be a certified Sheet Metal Worker. This was hard for him because he was not able to complete high school before going into the service. Maury High School had a vocational training school that he did so well in his studies that they gave him the position of instructor to teacher others. That was his most treasured academic accomplishment.
Life was changed forever with the birth of their first daughter Cindy in April 30, 1957 and second daughter Cathy in May 16th, 1961. Their family of four was blessed and happy and priorities in the home were God first and family second. Jim worked hard in his chosen profession and Dorothy worked as well and the family prospered. The family that Jim loved so much continued to grow and continues to grow today with two beloved grandchildren Jamee Bosarge and Jason Stanley, two precious great grandsons Hunter and Noah Bosarge.
God blessed him with a great personality and an amazing voice. He performed not only at church, but traveled to area nursing homes and performed for the elderly that were not able to get out. He said it made him happy to see them smile, sing along with the songs they knew, and some even dance. Towards the end of his life whenever he was hospitalized he took his vast collection of music with him and performed from his hospital room. Even when he was not feeling well himself over his holiday hospital visit, he sang Christmas songs from his bed to the staff and patients therefore giving them the gift of music, joy, and hope. He always was a person to give to others and not think about himself.
The love of his life Dorothy remembers:
I was so blessed to have such a wonderful loving husband for 63 years. We had a great life. God has blessed us with a wonderful family. My heart is broken but I know God wanted you back with him because you had suffered enough. We have always talked about how wonderful it will be in heaven with God and I am looking forward to the day that we will be together again. Until God calls me home I will continue to take care of our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and of course Baby.
His daughter Cindy's memories:
I remember the strong, comforting, protecting, and funny incredible man that taught me what every good husband and father should be. He taught me don't do anything half way and if you are going to do something give your best and follow through. He used to say you don't wash a car and not clean the tires and hubcaps because that is just cleaning at the dirt. He always made me feel like I was the most important person in his life. He always told me he was proud of me. I have memories of being a small child waking up in the middle of the night and he would go in the kitchen and get a Pepsi, put me on his knee, and let me hold a flashlight and shine it around the room to show me that I had nothing to be afraid of. I also remember when he would take the beagles hunting and take me with him, let me sit on his knee, and we would just sit quiet and listen to the hounds barking as they were chasing rabbits throughout the woods. Sharing birthday's with him was always my best birthday gift. I will miss him the most on our special day. I am living for the day that he and I can be together again. I long to hold his hand again in mine.
His daughter Cathy's memories:
He was my hero, confidant, protector, comforter, helper, and my best friend. He is the only man that ever made me feel safe as I would put my hand in his as a little child and also as a grown woman. Some how he always made things better. He showed me how to show respect to others and put God and family first at all times. On Saturdays he would get up early even though he worked hard all week just to be with me. We would go out on the boat or work in the yard but we were always together and soul mates. I am proud to have been born to look like him. So proud that when my only precious daughter was born I named her after him. He always would tell people about the day I was born that he looked at me for the first time, he saw those big blue eyes and the Whitley features and he knew that he was in for an exciting adventure. He always taught me that a woman can do anything a man can do and he is right because I inherited his mechanical ability and use it even to this day. After my brain surgery I was ready to give up and even saw my angel for me to leave this earth but it was interrupted by the feeling of my dad holding onto my hospital gown and lifting me up off the bed and telling me "don't you leave me" and the next thing I remembered was waking up to a new day. God has blessed me with the best daddy ever and every time I will look in the mirror I will think of him. I am looking forward to the day when I will be with him again in heaven.
His granddaughter Jamee's memories:
I remember the stories he would create like Cecil the mouse that lived in the attic at Clubhouse Road. I enjoyed listening to them with my cousin Jason. He also on Christmas Eve would read "The Night Before Christmas" and then our last Christmas together he read it to my sons. When I had Hunter and Noah he continued to share these wonderful stories with them. His nick name for me was mop head because of my long curly hair. It was wonderful to have him at the head of the table during family get togethers and just listening to his life's stories and how proud he is of his family. I will never forget the day I got married and he escorted me down the aisle and into the next chapter of my life. He would always be sure that the boys and I were taken care of while Scott was deployed by making our favorite meals like corn beef hash. He would either bring them to us or have us over. I will never forget the joy and pride on his face when I presented him with his great grandsons.
His Grandson Jason Says:
Like many have said today, Jim has taught me the importance of valuing family. As Rachel and I begin our family, my goal is to love them, cherish them and place God in the center just as he has done with us. I am so fortunate to have been a part of his life. On a lighter note, this is what he is doing right now in heaven, at least from my perspective: Jim is sitting on a beach, similar to one in Jamaica, wearing his choice of water apparel. His fishing rod is the perfect length and the tackle rig that he created catches the exact type of fish he wants every time. His boat, a deep-sea worthy pontoon that gets up to 60 mph, is stocked with every processed food known to man. His golf swing is perfect, his crowd for singing is gigantic, and his smile is never ending. Before we know it, we will be on the boat with him catching millions of fish. The only thing different is that we will have real sandwiches as he eats his spam..
His Son in Love Allen remembers:
It was 1972 when I first met this wonderful man that welcomed me into his family and called me "son". They never made me feel like an in-law but always made me feel important and loved. He was always there for my family to give advice and guidance when we needed it most. We enjoyed golf, fishing, and just working on projects together. He held our lives together. I will miss that relationship that was so strong over the years that left a deep impression on my heart. He loved his ice cream and going down to North Carolina for seafood and Morris Market in the summer. Going down now will never be the same. I cherish in his last days when he and I had an opportunity to be alone with him and he gave me my final instructions to keep the family together, be a good father and grandfather, be a support always no matter what, take care of Dorothy, and then he thanked me for all the fun times and that he could have not picked a better son-in-law. He told me "I love you- be strong for me"
His Daughter in Love Carolyn remembers:
Twenty-one years ago, Dad welcomed me into the family and into his heart. He always treated me as his daughter and loved me unconditionally. He has made me a better person and a better Christian for having known him. I will cherish his memory and miss him always.