Amos Randolph Whitley, 92, died Thursday, March 28, 2019, in his home.
Funeral, Sunday, 4:00 PM, Evansdale United Methodist Church, followed by a time of visiting and sharing.
Born in Wilson County on January 12, 1927, he was the fourth of eight children born to Millard Philmore and Mary Lee Hayes Whitley. He graduated from Charles L. Coon High School and then served in the United States Navy. After leaving the Navy at the end of World War II, he continued the family tradition of farming tobacco. One summer, after two full barns burned to the ground, he made a career change – eventually selling farm equipment. He worked most of his career with two companies, Lely and Woods, and clearly Randolph found his niche. An extroverted farmer selling farm equipment – he finally retired in 1997 at the age of 70.
Randolph enjoyed retirement immensely although he never got farming completely out of his system. For several years he grew greenhouse tomatoes and eventually settled with a true southern garden with corn, butter beans, snap beans and a myriad of other vegetables. One of Randolph’s other favorite pastimes was spending time at his home in Cedar Point, taking friends and family out fishing in his boat. He was a kind and generous man who shared his possessions with everyone. As one family member said, he was friends with doctors and laborers – he did not care about your business card – he cared about what was in your heart. He also cared what was in your belly and he would gladly fill it with his famous barbequed chicken. He cooked it for anyone and everyone – because it was really good but more because it was his way of giving you part of himself.
The last 14 years of Randolph’s life were made much happier by his true love and his wife, Doris Holmes. He is survived by Doris, along with his children: daughters, Randah Whitley and Ray Shackelford of Chapel Hill, Becca and Bear Hughes of Laurinburg, and son, Mike Whitley of Emerald Isle; grandchildren, Ian and Kurt Shackelford, Rachel and Walt Hughes; sisters, Louise Broome, Eleanor Bray and Dorothy Boyette (Johnny); brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, many nieces and nephews and other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Esther Whitley; brothers, Millard, Archie and Alton Whitley.
Memorials are suggested to Evansdale United Methodist Church, 4334 Evansdale Rd., Wilson, NC 27893-7657, or to Grace Foundation for the benefit of patients of Community Home Care and Hospice, 2841 Daisy Ln., Wilson, NC 27896-6948.