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Jackie D. Whitley

September 17, 1949 May 31, 2016
Jackie D. Whitley
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Obituary for Jackie D. Whitley

Mr. Jackie "Jack" D. Whitley, 66, of Spring, TX departed this life on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. He was born on September 17, 1949 to the late Alma (Green) and Clarence Whitley in Little Rock, Ar. The fifth oldest child born to this union, Jack was raised with his siblings in Scott, Arkansas.  His father, an avid baseball fan, named him after his two favorite baseball players – Jackie Robinson and Don Newcombe.
Jack attended elementary, junior high and high school in Lonoke, Arkansas, graduating from George Washington Carver High School in 1967.  Following graduation, Jack attended Arkansas AM&N (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) and later attended Letourneau University.  During his school years, Jack developed lifelong bonds with many of his classmates - friendships that continued until his final days.

Jack gave his life to Christ at an early age and he and his family were members of the Union Valley Missionary Baptist Church in Kerr, AR, where he remained a member for over twenty years. He served in many capacities while at Union Valley, but he’s perhaps remembered most for his incredible voice as a member of the choir.

In 1972, Jack was wed to his sweetheart, Brenda Dodson Whitley.  This union gave birth to three precious children- Portia, the spirited oldest daughter, Marlen, the father-like clone and only son, and Seidra, the gifted and outspoken youngest child. Jack settled his family in North Little Rock as he embarked on a career with Gulf Oil.  After driving trucks for Gulf for several years, he was promoted to front office management in 1982.  In 1985, Gulf was acquired by Chevron and the company relocated Jack and his family to Corpus Christi, Texas where they lived until being relocated again to San Antonio, Texas in January of 1987.

In San Antonio, the family joined the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church where Jack sang in the choir and was an active member in several ministries and mentoring programs.  He was the consummate family man – spending time with his family as often as possible.  Jack had a tremendous passion for young people.  Many of his children’s friends adopted he and Brenda as their surrogate parents, as they often opened their home to church youth group meetings and simple gatherings for fun and fellowship.  

Chevron relocated Jack and his family one last time in May of 1996 to Houston, Texas, where he worked until his retirement in February of 2004. In Houston, Jack became an active member of The Church Without Walls, pastored by Dr. Ralph Douglas West.  Jack loved to sing and used his gift to bless many as a member of the men’s choir. He also taught youth development classes, continuing his passion for nurturing young people.

Although Jack worked for Chevron for 30 years, his real passion was coaching.  From coaching his nephews’ Pro-Am basketball games to coaching his kids’ youth sports teams, Jack thrived as he instructed young people in the skill and character building aspect of sports.  To him, sports were bigger than winning and losing. Sports provided a pathway to grow confidence, encourage teamwork and cooperation, instill discipline and promote character that would live well beyond the game.  Some would say he missed his calling, but those who knew him would say that he demonstrated a passion that showed he truly cared for those he coached.

While there are so many things that can be said about Jack, we know this much is true: Jack never met a stranger.  He could talk to you and make you feel as if you’d known him all your life.  He was a kind and gentle man – he showed his friends and family an example of Christ’s agape love for others. He was a caring man. From caring for his wife through her illness until her death to raising his children and providing them the love and care they needed to grow, he sacrificed for himself for the well being of others.  He had a larger than life personality and an incredible sense of humor, although his children might tell you not all of his jokes were funny.  Jack’s legacy is his compassionate spirit that will continue to live on through the many lives he touched.

Jack battled illness for the last few years of his life, but he refused to give up or allow others to feel sorry for him. On May 31, 2016, Jack finished his race and was rewarded based on his faith in his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Brenda, his parents, Alma and Clarence Whitley, his sister Dorothy Jean Holmes and brothers Harold Whitley and Jerry Whitley.

He leaves to mourn and carry on his legacy his children Portia of Newark, NJ; Marlen (Laura) Whitley of Houston, TX and Seidra Whitley, his heart and caretaker, of Spring, TX.  He also leaves his precious grandsons whom he loved immensely- Jackson, who shares his name; Jordan, who shares his looks and personality; and Jamison, who shares his sense of humor. Jack also leaves sisters Vernastine Banks of Chicago, IL; Barbara Kelleybrew, Scottie Whitley and Cheryl Whitley of Kerr, AR; Mamie Patton and Vera McCray of Little Rock, AR; Linda (Curtis) Speight and Cynthia Whitfield of North Little Rock, AR and Gail Whitley of Sherwood, AR; brothers Edgar Whitley (Orethia) of Little Rock, AR; Clarence (Joanne) Whitley of Kerr, AR;  Avery (Terressa) Whitley and Timothy (Donna Mae) Whitley of North Little Rock, AR.  Additionally, Jack leaves to mourn a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends and extended family.  

Funeral services will be held 11:00 am, Saturday, June 11, 2016 at Gateway Fellowship International Church, 101 Alice Lane, Lonoke, AR. Visitation 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm, Friday, June 10, 2016 at the funeral home. Interment Sunset Cemetery in Lonoke, AR.

Services entrusted to Larry G. Acklin Funeral Home, 8821 Colonel Glenn, Little Rock, AR. "IN YOUR TIME OF NEED...WE CARE."

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm, Friday, June 10, 2016
Larry G. Acklin Funeral Home
8821 Colonel Glenn, Little Rock, AR 72204

11:00 am, Saturday, June 11, 2016
Gateway Fellowship International Church
101 Alice Lane/Lonoke, AR

Sunset Cemetery
Lonoke, AR

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