Charlie L. Whatley

Charlie Leon Whatley, 89, of Baytown, Texas, went to be with the Lord on Friday, December 28, 2018. He passed peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends.

He was born November 19, 1929 at Trout to the union of his parents, Walter and Florence Whatley.

He was raised on Rural Road 1 near Trout. He began his life of travel when he left the piney woods of Louisiana and joined the Navy after graduating from high school. Charlie was stationed in California out of Port Hueneme where he was assigned to the USS Norton Sound. His ship was the Navy’s first guided missile Test Ship (AVM-1) that went on to fire the first low yield nuclear project warhead (Project ARGUS).

He got his Shellback at this time for crossing the equator going down to South America. He married Vivian Maxine and got out of the Navy with his first Honorable Discharge in October 1949. With the Korean War ramping up, he was recalled into the Training Sector and stayed until his second Honorable Discharge October 1955.

He began a career with General Telephone Company in California and three children later, left to be closer to his Louisiana roots by arriving in Baytown, Texas.

Charlie had a well-developed, dry sense of humor that was adored by everyone who knew him. Absolutely no one was safe from some comment, but to know him was to love him. He has remained Dad Whatley to the vast group of friends who knew him and loved him from Sterling High School.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Vida Ruth and Clarice.

He is survived by his wife Sarah Whatley; his children, Richard, Terri and Donald and stepchildren Sherry, Tammy and Michele and their loving spouses; four sisters, Sue Bradford and Ethel Frazier, both of Jena, Bess Frye of Shreveport, and Doris Andrews of Baton Rouge; sistersin-law, Vanessa and Dianna from West Virginia; 16 grandchildren and several great grandchildren, with one on the way.

A memorial service was held Friday, January 4, 2019, at Navarre Funeral Home, 2444 Rollingbrook Dr., Baytown, Texas 77521.

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