Will Whitehead, 70, of Cottonwood, passed away Wednesday morning, April 15, 2020 after suffering a heart attack. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Will, a man of deep integrity whose love of life and love for others touched many.
Due to current restrictions required by COVID-19 precautions, a private family graveside service will be held at 1 PM Saturday, April 18, 2020 at the Mount of Olives Memorial Garden Cemetery in Cottonwood with Dr. Ricky Plummer and Rev. Vann Clack officiating. Flowers will be appreciated, or memorial contributions may be made to the BEAM ministry of Bethel Baptist Church, 3257 East Cottonwood Road, Dothan, AL 36301.
Will was born October 3, 1949 in Cottonwood, Alabama, the fourth of four children of Nola Elmore and Crosher L. Whitehead. A graduate of Cottonwood High School, Will entered Troy University where he was a standout member of the Track and Field Team, setting the pole-vaulting record. Graduating with a degree in business administration, Will joined his father at the family-owned Whitehead Milling Company in Cottonwood, a business which he and his brother Artis eventually managed and operated. Appreciated by his employees and customers for his consistency and lightheartedness, Will continued his dedication to the Mill until he retired in 2016.
Marrying Kathy Jo Deal of Rehobeth in 1982, Will was a devoted husband and father. Will loved spending time with his family, both at home and at Crystal Lake, where they shared sunny days on the water and cozy evenings playing games. The “Game Night” Will organized every year during the Christmas season was full of love and laughter and will remain a cherished memory for all the family.
Will was a valued member of Bethel Baptist Church, of Dothan, where he was actively involved in leadership and teaching and where he faithfully served as Deacon. He was instrumental in forming the BEAM ministry at his church, a religious non-profit corporation that provides scholarships for students pursuing Christian vocations. In addition, in honor of his late son Michael Whitehead, Will established a scholarship awarded to high school students entering college, supporting their studies and funding their tuition.
A big fan of Alabama and Troy football, Will could often be found with a pack of bubble gum and a bowl of popcorn in hand, cheering them on. Will appreciated God’s creation and enjoyed spending time outdoors, planting a large vegetable garden each year and cultivating numerous citrus and fruit trees. Will was creative and expressive, loved music, and often wrote poems. Will freely and generously shared his love of music, love of life, and love of Christ. All of those around Will were blessed by his love, which is a continuing legacy for his children today. He will be fondly remembered by his friends and family as a selfless person, always willing to help others. Deeply loved, Will will be greatly missed.
Will was preceded in death by his parents and his eldest son, Michael Andrew Whitehead and two brothers-in-law, Randall McCord and Jack Grace. He is survived by his loving wife of 37 years Kathy Deal Whitehead, his daughter Anna Turner, her husband Keith, and their two children Parker and Grady of Dothan, his son Benjamin Whitehead of Cottonwood, and his daughter Katherine Whitehead of Knoxville, Tennessee. Also surviving are his two sisters, Myrl McCord of Cottonwood and Qualeen Grace of St. Joseph, Louisiana; his brother Artis Whitehead and his wife Diane of Cottonwood; his brother-in-law Phillip Deal and his wife Debbie of Dothan; and his sister-in-law Lori Deal of Dothan. Several special nieces and nephews also survive.
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