Roger Warren Whitehead was born June 25, 1922, a few miles east of Minden, Texas, to Arthur Bertrand Whitehead and Florence Rousseau Whitehead. Roger graduated from Minden High School in 1940, having been recognized as an FFA ‘Lone Star Farmer.’ This honor helped him obtain a scholarship to the College of Marshall (now East Texas Baptist University) – that, plus the fact that he knew how to plow the college’s vegetable garden with a mule and take care of the school’s dairy cows. In 1942 Roger enlisted in the Marine Corps and saw action in several of the battles of the island-hopping campaign in the Pacific against the Imperial Japanese army. After the war Roger returned to East Texas Baptist College (the former College of Marshall) where he met the love of his life, Maude Ellen Stone. They were married in 1948. After their marriage, Roger continued his education at Stephen F. Austin University, obtaining a B.A. degree in business.
Roger would go on to work for hospitals, an oil and gas company, manage the Blackstone Hotel, Tyler’s last old-fashioned traditional hotel (complete with bell boys, elevator operators, switchboard operator, two restaurants, a laundry – even a full service garage). His last job was working for the Texas Highway Department as a permit manager. After his retirement he enjoyed gardening, tending his farm and having a good time with his grandkids!
He was a faithful member of Turnertown Baptist Church for over 65 years, where he was a deacon, Sunday School teacher, and served in many other capacities throughout his life with a true servant’s heart. Roger loved singing and was a long-time member of the church choir and loved Sacred Harp singing since his childhood.
Roger was a member of the Henderson Kiwanis club and a member of Gideons International. He and his son Joe often participated in passing out Bibles for the Gideons.
Roger was predeceased by his parents, his wife of 70 years, Maude Ellen, his son Joe Mack Whitehead, and brothers Alfred (Edell) Whitehead and Gay Whitehead. Roger is survived by sisters Marilyn Smith of Pine Hill, Texas, Nelwyn Hughes and husband Harry of Kervin, Texas, and brother Worth Whitehead of Henderson, Texas; son John Whitehead and wife Debbie of Kilgore, Texas; daughter-in-law Nora Whitehead of Henderson, Texas; grandsons William Travis Whitehead and wife Janelle, currently living in Dubai; John Luke Whitehead and wife Jessie, of Dallas; and granddaughter Julie Cummins and husband Brad, of Denver, Colorado; two great-grandchildren, Kennedy and Eli Whitehead (children of Travis and Janelle), and many nieces, nephews, cousins, distant relations.
The family did receive friends from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, at Crawford-A. Crim Funeral Home. Funeral services for Mr. Whitehead will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 5, at the funeral home with Rev. James Palmer officiating. Interment will follow at Zion Hill Cemetery under the direction of Crawford-A. Crim Funeral Home.
Pallbearers will be Luke Whitehead, Travis Whitehead, Calvin Smith, Judson Knight, Dwain Knight, Worth Whitehead, and Brad Cummins.
If desired, memorial donations may be made to Gideons International at P.O. Box 1741, Henderson, TX 75653, and/or Turnertown Baptist Church at P.O. Box 369, Selman City, TX 75689.
Words of comfort may be share with the family at www.crawfordacrim.com.