Roy Crawley (“R.C.”) Whitehead passed away peacefully at his home in Hobgood on August 18, 2021. After 90 years of selfless devotion to his family, his kind and gentle heart finally stopped to rest.
He was born on December 3, 1930 to Ralph Lee and Rosa Crawley Whitehead at their home in Hobgood. When the Hobgood school burned down and he ended up at the school in Scotland Neck, he met the girl who would become his wife and the love of his life for over seventy years, Pattie Phillips.
Growing up, he helped on the farm and briefly helped drive trucks for his dad, but his heart wasn’t in it. Always fascinated by electronics, he took a correspondence course after graduation and then made the brave decision to travel to Chicago to attend Radio Electronics School, graduating in April 1951. Nine days later, he and Pattie were married in Scotland Neck. Soon after that he enlisted in the Army and, because of his training, was sent to Germany to serve in the 512th Signal Corps for two years and remained in the Army Reserve until 1959.
After returning from Germany, he and Pattie moved to Raleigh where he worked at Sears, repairing radios and TVs. With a wife and five children to support, he worked after hours fixing his friends’ and neighbors’ TVs. After many years with Sears, he decided to go into business for himself and started Whitehead’s TV Service. For twenty years, he made service calls all over the county and earned respect for his honesty and fairness.
After retirement, he and Pattie returned to Hobgood on a regular basis to restore the house his grandfather had built. What was intended as a weekend retreat from the city became their home for the last thirty years of their lives.
He was quick to laugh and had a generous heart, taking time to listen and always looking for the best in people. He loved music, having played saxophone with his friends in high school; and after the children left home, he found joy on the square-dance floor with his lifelong partner.
He worked hard all his life and never complained. His eyes failed him and his hands were crippled by age and hard work, and in 2017 he suffered a devastating fall that might have left him in a wheelchair. But he convinced the doctors that he could survive the surgery and went on to take care of his ailing wife for the last years of her life. When asked how he could continue to give so much of himself, he answered, “Because I have responsibilities.”
In addition to his parents, R.C. was preceded in death by two brothers, Ralph Layton and Wiley Earl Whitehead, as well as two brothers who died in infancy. He is survived by a son, Roy Whitehead, Jr. of Scotland Neck and Anne Whitehead of Oxford; four daughters, Patricia Thompson and husband Michael of Apex, Rebecca Wade of Cary, Cindy Hinton and husband Billy of Zebulon, and Angela Whitehead and Paige Acree of Wilmington; six granddaughters, Kelly Woodlief and husband Tony of Oxford, Jamie Weathers and husband Matt of Franklinton, Lisa Lepage of Salem, MA, Karen Lepage of Seattle, WA, Sammi Kay and Samantha Pollard of Greenville, SC; four grandsons, Trey Whitehead and wife Heather of Franklinton, Guy Dodson of Wilmington, Kyle Dodson and Jasmine Moschella of Holly Springs, and Samuel Pollard of Greenville, SC; four great-granddaughters, Kadence and Hailey Woodlief, Ava Whitehead, and MacKenzie Dodson-Moschella; four great-grandsons, Zach Woodlief, Maddox and Braxton Weathers, and Cade Whitehead.
Due to concerns regarding COVID-19, the family will have a private funeral service with Rev. Don Glendenning officiating.
Flowers are welcome but memorial contributions may be made directly to Bible Broadcasting Network (BBN) by mail to PO Box 7300, Charlotte, NC 28241, or online at bbn1.bbnradio.org/english/donate . Please indicate that the donation is in memory of Roy “R.C.” Whitehead (in comment box or on your check).
Letchworth-Sykes Funeral Service is handling the arrangements for the Whitehead family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting https://www.garrettsykesfs.com.