“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Verse: 2 Timothy 4:7
Wayne Whitson, 80, passed away peacefully at his home in Virginia Beach, VA on November 28, 2011, following a courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family as he went to be with his Lord and Savior. Wayne was a former deacon and longtime member of Kempsville Presbyterian Church. He was an inspiration for his family until the end.
A native of Yancey County, NC, he grew up in Erwin, TN. Wayne was the second youngest of eight siblings.
“Big Wayne Whitson,” also known by family and friends as “The Wayner,” was an outstanding athlete and starred in football and basketball for Unicoi County High School. He also played football and basketball at Mars Hill College and golf at East Tennessee State University where he received his Bachelor’s degree. He later earned a Master’s degree in education from Old Dominion University. Wayne spent four years in the U.S. Navy, including service aboard the USS Coral Sea.
Wayne retired in 1993 after 32 years in the Norfolk Public School System as an elementary school P.E. teacher and assistant principal. He was a dedicated teacher and known for his outstanding tumbling clubs.
Wayne loved spending time with his family and friends. For many years at Easter, he performed as a disciple in the play “The Man Called Jesus.”
His favorite hobby was golf, and he enjoyed spending time with his “Blitz” buddies at Lake Wright Golf Course. He took pride in his yard and grew mountains of tomatoes and other vegetables each summer. Wayne also enjoyed watching the Washington Redskins, though some years were more enjoyable than others.
He was preceded in death by his father, Noah, and his mother, Fannie; brothers, Naff, Arnold, Hannum and his fraternal twin, Forest; and sisters, Edith Taylor and June Radford.
He is survived by Rebecca Dutton Whitson, his devoted wife of 48 years; daughter Amy Whitson Roberson of Richmond, VA, and her husband, Scott; son Brian Whitson of Williamsburg, VA, and his wife, Monet; grandchildren Morgan, Garrett, Jack and Sydney; sister Louise Reel of Asheville, NC.; brother-in-law James Dutton of Roanoke, VA, and his wife, Maggie; honorary brother Ellis Murphy of Erwin, TN, and his wife, Doris Jean; and many nieces and nephews.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Following Interment at 1p.m. at Rosewood Memorial Park, a celebration of life will be held at 2:30p.m. Friday, December 2, 2011 at Kempsville Presbyterian Church, 805 Kempsville Road, Virginia Beach. Visitation will be held from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, December 1, 2011 at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 5792 Greenwich Road Virginia Beach.
Condolences can be made at altmeyer.com.