Cover photo for John Lee Whitley's Obituary
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John Lee Whitley

November 21, 1933 — July 15, 2023

John Lee Whitley

John Lee Whitley, 89, of Wilson passed away on Saturday, July 15, 2023.  Family will receive friends on Tuesday, July 18 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Joyner’s Funeral Home, 4100 Raleigh Road Parkway, Wilson.  A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, July 19 at 11:00 am at First Christian Church in Wilson.  Interment will immediately follow the service at Maplewood Cemetery in Wilson.  Reverend Jamie Brame will officiate.

 

John graduated from Charles L. Coon High School Class of 1951 and a 1960 graduate of the UNC School of Law.  He served his country in the United States Army, serving in the Korean Conflict from 1954 to 1956. 

 

John worked in the private industry before returning to Wilson to begin his own private law practice.  John became Wilson County Clerk of Court on July 1, 1990 and was appointed District Court Judge in 1992, before being named as the Chief District Court Judge for Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe Counties in 2001. He was awarded the Order of Long Leaf Pine in 2005 by Governor Michael Easley for his extraordinary service to the citizens of North Carolina.

 

Not only did John serve his community faithfully through his profession, but also through his personal endeavors.  He was a member of the Masons, the Shriner’s, the Exchange Club, as well as being a member of the Jaycees.  John was a deacon, elder, and trustee at First Christian Church.  He was also a choir member for over fifty years and served as Chairman of the Board. 

 

John is survived by his loving wife of nearly 60 years, Mabel Jefferson Whitley; daughters, Lydia W. Walton and husband, Jonathan Stratton of Asheboro and Cynthia W. Gattis and husband, Gary of Benson; sons, John Gordon Whitley and wife, Cathleen of Ormond Beach, FL;  Andrew J. Whitley and wife, Melissa of Wilson; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

 

John was preceded in death by his parents, John Bunyan Whitley, Jr. and Mamie Moore Whitley.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Christian Church Floral Fund or Music Ministry, PO Box 2702, Wilson, NC 27894.

 

Above all, he loved his family and his community and will be missed by all.

 

Condolences directed to Joyner’s Funeral Home and Crematory at www.joyners.net.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Lee Whitley, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Interment

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

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