J. Harold Whatley Jr.

Published 1:35 pm Thursday, February 22, 2024

J. Harold Whatley Jr. died peacefully at River Region Hospital Wednesday, Feb. 21. He was 92 years old.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Harold Sr. and Myrtle Whatley of Vicksburg; his infant daughter, Lori Patricia Whatley; twin brother, Holt Whatley of The Villages, Fla.; and his brother, Roy Whatley of Marietta, Ga.

Whatley was a lifelong resident of Vicksburg.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

He graduated from Carr Central High School, attended Hinds Community College, served five years in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict and later graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in civil engineering. He enjoyed a career of 42 years with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

When he retired in 1993, he was serving as the chair of Levee and Drainage Branch. He was an active member of Woodlawn Baptist Church.

Whatley was also active in Little League Baseball, The Clear Creek Golf Association, was an avid outdoorsman and long-time member of Brown’s Point Hunting Club (president for 16 years) and a member of the Boone and Crocket Big Game Club of America.

He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Jan (Thornton) Whatley; two children, Scooter Whatley (Annette) of Florence and Angel (Brandon) Smith of Oxford; six grandchildren, Conner Whatley and Austin Whatley of Madison, Stratton Smith, Sharpe Smith and Slay Smith of Oxford, Desiree (Matt) Morrison; and four great-grandchildren of DeFuniak Springs, Fla: one brother, Roy (Margie) Whatley of Houston.

Pallbearers will be Tommy Dykes, George Joy, Danny Koestler, Louis Logue, Brandon Smith, Stratton Smith, Conner Whatley, and Marty Tompkins.

Honorary Pallbearers will be Scooter Whatley, Richard Studebaker, Randy Thorn, and his grandchildren.

The Whatley family would like to express our sincerest appreciation to Sheila Gaskin-Smith, Dr. Barry Blackston, Dr. Paul Pierce IV, Dr. Middleton, and the staff of River Region Intensive Care Unity for the love and care shown.

Visitation will be held at Riles Funeral Home Saturday from noon until 2 p.m., with the service to follow. Internment will be at Cedar Hill Cemetery.