Johnney J. Whiteaker
Johnney James Whiteaker was born on May 14, 1928, in Midland, Texas, to Alva Newton Whiteaker and Pearl Marie Ivy Whiteaker. He passed away on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Uvalde, Texas.
Johnney attended grade schools in Seagraves, Texas, Levelland, Texas and Hobbs, New Mexico. He graduated from Eagle Pass, Texas High School in 1945.
In 1946, he joined the Army Air Force, later known as the United States Air Force. He finished Band School in Washington, D.C., and was assigned to the 724th Air Force Band as a trumpet player NCO Sgt. at Mather Field, Sacramento, California.
In 1949, he was discharged, returning to Texas to complete his education. After one year at SWTJC, Uvalde, he transferred to Sul Ross State University at Alpine, graduating with a master’s degree in music education and was employed by the Ft. Davis Independent School District as band director for three years, then moving to Wink, Texas, where he was director of bands for thirty years. During these years there were many sweepstakes awards and 1st division ratings. It was with pride that many of his students excelled at the state level of competition. (Whiteaker was an incredible trumpet player!)
It was at Uvalde, Texas, that he met his wife, Frances Lavanza Howerton Whiteaker. They married on June 2, 1951. He had a great love for God and a great love for his wife and family.
While teaching in Wink he served on the city council, Winkler County Hospital Board, and was choir director at Wink’s First Baptist Church for approximately 26 years. He was also a Mason – holding all offices of Local Lodge at Wink which later consolidated with Kermit Lodge #1258.
In 1984, he retired from teaching only to be called back to teach another 1.5 years. He jokingly said “after 29 years I had things in such a mess that the young man who took my place left at mid-term.”
After completing 30 years at Wink, he retired again in 1986 and after his wife retired, they moved to Uvalde County to be near aging parents.
“Retirement” was nothing less than beginning a new Career. In 1996 he was licensed to preach and ordained to the ministry in 1997, where he served as pastor at the First Baptist Church of Batesville for 13 years. Known simply as “Bro. Johnney”
He had many hobbies and collections: guns, knives, and tools were some. In later years he collected and enjoyed “tinkering” with old tractors and autos. One of his cherished buys was a 1928 Model A Ford of which he said: “We are the same age but it is still beautiful and going and I’m old and worn out.”
It was his request that music recorded by the beloved Wink Wildcat Band be played at his funeral the two recordings were: march, Pentland Hills and Tocatta for band. These were among his favorites because his band was composed of both junior high and high school students. Approximately half and half of 54 members. Wink High School was Class “B” then “A” in enrollment. God has blessed me over and over and I am eternally grateful for all the blessings.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Alva and Pearl Whiteaker; two sisters, Dorothy Cheney and Betty Lewis; and his granddaughter, Starla Price.
Those left to honor and cherish Johnney’s memory are his loving wife of 69 years, Frances of Uvalde; son, Johnney Wayne Whiteaker of Montell; daughter, Judy Frances Whiteaker Price and husband, Jack, of Longview; son, James Steven Whiteaker and wife, Laurie, of San Angelo; six grandchildren, Velvet Price Holman, Crystal Price Massey, Misti Whiteaker Morales, Mandi Whiteaker Baker, Johnney James Whiteaker, Holly Whiteaker Yaklin; great-grandchildren, Christen Morales, Caiden Morales, Jalene Baker, Brendon Massey, Alston Massey, Jackson Massey, Shandaniah Fry, Felicity Fry, Amaris Holman, Landon Yaklin, Cherish Holman, Jacob Ryland Whiteaker, Noah James Whiteaker, Calista Ainsley; numerous nieces, nephews and a host of beloved friends and acquaintances of years past.
Graveside service was held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 3, 2020, at the Jones Cemetery in Utopia, Texas. Officiant Pastor James Whiteaker.
Arrangements are under the personal care of Nelson Funeral Home of Camp Wood, Texas. The family invites you to leave a condolence at www.nelsonfuneralhomes.net.
The preceding is a paid obituary.