Ralph Campbell Whitsett Jr.

September 13, 1922March 6, 2013

A true Marine to the end, Ralph Campbell Whitsett, Jr., age 90, was called to rest on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. He was born in Salem, VA on September 13, 1922, and was the only son of the late Ralph C. and Ruth C. Whitsett.

Ralph was truly proud to have served his country in the United States Marine Corps during WWII. He participated in the capture and defense of Guadalcanal, Tulagi, Cape Gloucester NB, and Peleliu Island (see his story online at Ralph Whitsett/Pacific).

Ralph worked many years at Newport News Shipyard and retired from Advex Corp. in 1985. He was a faithful member of Northampton Presbyterian Church for 50 years.

Ralph was also preceded in death by his wife of 38 years, Josephine H. Whitsett. He is survived by daughters, Kathleen Ward and husband, Percy of Poquoson, and Carole Donovan of Hampton; son, Charles S. Wilson and wife, Belinda of Hampton; three grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and lifetime friend, Frances Matherly of Christiansburg, VA.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home. A celebration of Ralph’s life will be held on Sunday, March 10, at 3:00 pm, at Parklawn Memorial Park Mausoleum. Interment will follow at Parklawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Northampton Presbyterian Church.


  • Visitation Saturday, March 9, 2013
  • Celebration of Life Service Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ralph Campbell Whitsett Jr.

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March 10, 2013

My Uncle Ralph; One fine day I dropped by to visit Ralph: Ralph was glad to see me and welcomed me with a strong hand shake and a big smile. He talked stoically about his life, his recent decline in health, his new prescriptions and various scheduled medical test as though he was just trying to make his way through the complex world of modern medicine. Weighing his own thoughts, never once complaining. We talked and laughed about how my mother: Ralphs' sister ' Ruth May' called him " Waffay' because Ruth had a difficult time pronouncing the letter 'r' and Ralph became "Waffay. When the War started Ralph never gave it a secound thought about what he needed to do; join the Marines. Ralph talked openly and in some detail about his combat experiencs, his return to civilian life and his loving family. I left in a similar manner to how I had arrived, a strong hand shake and a big smile, and my drive home was different, better. Thank you Ralph; Ted Layne will miss you very much.

March 9, 2013

Dear Kathy and Percy,,,I was so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing..My thoughts and prayers are with you as you carry on but I know your faith will get you through the sadness. If I was there in Va, I would be there for you!!!In Christ's love Teresa Crandol Livengood

March 9, 2013

Kathy and thoughts and prayers are with you all...God sure blessed him with a long life and I am sure he loved you guys...Wish we could be there but will keep you in our hearts. Wayne and Maxine Elder Semper Fi

March 8, 2013


We remember your dad as a sweet, loving uncle, brother of Ruth May,and we are grateful to have visited with him last year.

Love to you, Joan and Chris Layne

Ginny Layne

March 8, 2013

Your dad had such an impressive life. He was courageous and kind. I have wonderful memories of summer visits to your home. I remember your dad taking us to the ocean where he taught me how to catch crabs! This is still one of my fondest childhood memories.
I wish I could be there on Saturday but I will be thinking of you and your family.
All My Best,

Susan Miller

March 8, 2013

Kathy and Percy--and Family--"Good and Faithful servant"--We will all lift you up in prayer--I have such sweet memories-- Kathy; of us all camping, swimming at the pool,my many sleep overs at "Aunt Jo's and Uncle Ralph"s house--"Uncle Ralph teaching us new swimmiing strokes at the pool--just too many memories to count--I love you all--and I will surely miss Uncle Ralph--and mom will miss his faithful visits to her as they would always reminisce. In Christ's Love --Susan and Aunt Kathryn