FLORA, Ill. — Tony Whitehead, 92, of Flora, passed away early Monday morning, Jan. 16, 2023, at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. He was born Nov. 8, 1930, in Centertown, Kentucky, the son of Jasper Rodgers and Nola (Snodgrass) Whitehead.
He was united in marriage to Wanda Ann Bennett on Dec. 26, 1953, in Ohio County, Kentucky, and together they shared 62 wedding anniversaries until her passing on June 1, 2016. Tony served in the U.S. Army from 1951-53, stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He was employed by Ashland Oil for over 40 years as a gauger and was a member of the First Southern Baptist Church in Flora. He was dedicated to youth athletics through his work as a little league and pony league coach, as well as an umpire.
Tony served on the Clay County Board from 1984 until 2002 and functioned as the board chair for 10 of those years. During that time he was instrumental in developing plans for a new hospital in Clay County, Illinois, to modernize and advance the standard of medical care for our local communities.
He enjoyed quail hunting and vegetable gardening, gaining the title of “town farmer” with his plentiful crops. He was appreciated each year for his delicious tomatoes and willingness to help till the garden plots of others who were anxious to start their planting. In all that he did, helping people with a giving attitude was the true heart of Tony’s personality.
He was preceded in passing by his parents and wife; a son, Bruce Whitehead; two grandsons, Adam Whitehead and Joseph Whitehead; nine siblings, Ray Whitehead, Lois (Rethel) Hoskins, Roy (Agnes) Whitehead, Lucille (Conrad) Bennett, May (John) Kucinski, Margery (Charles) Ford, Geneva (Bill) Scott, Edwin (Greta) Whitehead, and Daphene (Wiley) Flener; and a daughter-in-law, Lisa Whitehead.
He is survived by two sons, Ted (Karen) Whitehead, of Flora, and Gary (Karen) Whitehead, of Flora; a brother, J.R. (Jennifer) Whitehead, of Greenville, Kentucky; seven grandchildren, Miranda (Brock) Kroenlein, Josalyn (Jonas) Wyatt, Nathan (Noel) Whitehead, Laura (Cory) Anderson, Lucas Whitehead, Jacob Whitehead, and Maria Whitehead; six great-grandchildren, Gracie and Allison Kroenlein, Chesley and Ezra Wyatt, and Norah and Nolan Tony Whitehead; and a great-grandchild on the way.
A funeral ceremony will be held beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at Frank & Bright Funeral Home in Flora. Interment will follow in St. Stephen Cemetery with military funeral honors presented. Visitation will be from 5 until 8 p.m. Friday evening at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to Guadalupe Project and will be accepted through the funeral home.
To share a condolence or memory, visit www.frankandbright.com.