Charlie Leon Whatley

November 19, 1929December 28, 2018
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Charlie Leon Whatley passed on Friday, December 28th peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends. He was raised in Trout, on Rural Road 1, La Salle Parrish, Louisiana. 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 Discharged 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. It was nothing for him to change drivers going across the desert from California to Louisiana without stopping.

Charlie coached the Steers and the Cubs in West Little League and practice baseball close to the church he attended with his family at Wooster Baptist. After working for GTE as a Cable Spicer, he got on at Lubrizol as a Millwright and stayed with them until he retired. His working claim to fame was that he never missed a paycheck. He loved going on mission trips as a youth sponsor with Second Baptist church and was often awarded Ranger Booster of the Week where got to stand on the field during his coveted Ross S Sterling Ranger games. After retiring, he became one of the founders of the mall walkers group where coffee and stories became an every morning pastime. After marrying Sarah, he loved taking his travel trailer being pulled by his Ranger Blue Dodge pickup and heading out to roads less travel with his extended family to lakes and campsites across the USA. Much to the fear of many family members, he once pulled his long 5th wheel travel trailer and pontoon boat to local Lake Rayburn. He loved his boating and fishing especially if it ended with a mess of fried catfish. Watching his Granddaughter Tara play softball all the way through college and his great granddaughter Ambre play T-ball made him happy. He always supported his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren by sitting in the stands supporting and offering his words of wisdom. He was always willing to jump a plane to some far-off location like Australia or Cozumel or jump a cruise ship to the Bahamas or the Alaskan glaciers. He and his wife Sarah could be found attending Baptist Temple, visiting friends in the hospital, or him driving with Ground Angels that assisted cancer patients, by escorting them to MD Anderson for treatment.

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 is preceded in death by his parents Walter and Florence Whatley, Vivian Wright Whatley, 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. He survived by his sisters Ethel Dean, Sue, Doris and Bess from Louisiana and sisters-in-law Vanessa and Dianna from West Virginia. He is also survived by sixteen grandchildren and several great grandchildren, with one on the way.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, January 4, 2019, at Navarre Funeral Home, 2444 Rollingbrook Dr., Baytown, Texas 77521.


  • Walter and Florence Whatley, Parents- Deceased
  • Vivian Wright Whatley, Wife- Deceased
  • Vida Ruth and Clarice, Sisters- Deceased
  • Sarah Whatley, Wife
  • Richard, Terri and Donald, Children
  • Sherry, Tammy and Michele and their loving spouses, Stepchildren
  • Ethel Dean, Sue, Doris and Bess, Sisters
  • Vanessa and Dianna, Sisters-in-law
  • sixteen grandchildren and several great grandchildren, with one on the way.


  • Memorial Service Friday, January 4, 2019

Charlie Leon Whatley

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Calvin Bohannon

January 4, 2019

Charlie had a unending desire to help anyone who needed a friend, support, a prayer, encouragement, a helping hand or just to listen.
His love for family, friends, life and his lord Jesus Christ was evident in his life of service.
Lost to us now, but only briefly for those who knew him and have chosen to follow his example of choosing to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
I love you Charlie, see you at the dock standing there with Jesus.

Sherry Wright

January 1, 2019

My Condolences to the Whatley Family
Uncle Charlie you will be missed by all. Want to thank the Whatley Family taking us in there home, when we moved from Cailfornia to Texas. Had great memories the time we were there. Rest in Peace Uncle Charlie.
Your Niece
Sherry Wright

nelda fayle

January 1, 2019

To The Whatley Family,
We were neighbors during our childhood, on Jack St. Lots of memories, parties , games and get togethers at your home. Your parents were always happy with a houseful. I had a couple of opportunities to visit with Charlie lately, once in the mall and one day my husband and I sat with him at the lunch area in the VA in Houston. Very interesting man, he remembered my parents and "the four girls". We remembered a lot of the neighborhood together. You were blessed to have such a remarkable person in your life. Our Prayers and Thoughts are with you during this time, Sincerely, Nelda (Byford) and Bobby Fayle

Karen Stevens-Gerk

January 1, 2019

My deepest sympathy to Sarah Louise and all who loved Charlie. Was so sad to hear of his passing. I didn't know him well, as I only got to see him & Sarah Louise when they came up to visit my Dad & Mom (Terry & Dianna Stevens), but he was always laughing & joking around! He and my Dad had a lot of the same humor! Im sure Dad and Charlie are having a big reunion right about now! Again, my deepest & heartfelt condolences Sarah Louise...Rest in sweet peace Charlie...Sincerely, Karen Stevens-Gerk

Delma Wright-Gunnels

January 1, 2019

Vivian was living in our home when she & Charlie first met. He was such a handsome, sweet young sailor! It was fun to watch them fall in love. We made lots of family memories the years we lived near each other in California. Rest in peace Uncle Charlie!😊💕