Dr. Samuel Howard WhiteheadNovember 21, 1921 ~ March 22, 2017 (age 95)
Wednesday, March 22, 2017, Dr. Sam Whitehead, 95, of Whiteville, NC, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; his son, Tommy; his parents and his siblings.
Sam was born in Kansas City, Missouri Nov. 21, 1921 to the late Joseph and Floribel Whitehead. He was the 7th of 8 children. After high school he worked at First Commerce Bank which is where he met his wife, Betty Thomas. Sam proudly served his country in WWII as a B-17 Bomber Pilot. He and Betty married Feb. 4, 1944, just before he was shipped overseas to England. He was in the 381st Bomb Group, 534th Squadron, 8th Air Force. He completed 32 missions over Germany, France, and Poland from April 1944 to August 1944. His last two missions, he was the lead pilot for the B-17 Bomber leading the mission. He returned to the States and was a B-29 instructor until the end of the war.
Sam graduated from the Illinois School of Optometry and settled in North Carolina following 3 of his brothers. He moved his family to Whiteville, NC in 1953. He practiced Optometry until he closed his office in 1999 after 46 years. Sam was a member of Civitan, International for over 60 years, serving several offices, including President. He was a member of the Founding Board of Directors of the Boys Home at Lake Waccamaw. He was active with the United Methodist Men, also serving as President. He was an avid golfer and a member of the Whiteville Country Club for many years.
He is survived by daughters, Linda Whitehead of Whiteville, NC and Rita Whitehead of Griffin, Ga; daughters and son-in-laws, Susan and Matt Henney of Charlotte, NC and Kim and Gil Strader of Julian, NC; grandchildren, Casey Strader of Dallas, TX; Matt Henney of Charlotte, NC; Harrison Henney of Charleston, SC; Brett Strader of USMC Camp Lejune, NC; and Samantha Strader of Annapolis, MD.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Whiteville United Methodist Church or the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler, GA.
The family would like to thank the staff of Liberty Hospice and Carolina Care Giver Services, LLC for the loving and attentive care they gave our father.
Visitation will be at Peacock Funeral Home, Friday March 24, 2017 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. The services will be held Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 11:00 am at Whiteville United Methodist Church. . Followed by interment at Columbus Memorial Park.