James E. “Jim” Whitehair, 88, of Byesville, passed on March 9, 2023 after a long battle with cancer.
Jim was born on July 7, 1934 in Akron, the son of the late Earl C. and Talitha W. Whitehair (Pritchard). The Whitehair family moved from Akron to Guernsey County in 1946. Jim’s father, Earl, had taken a liking to the area after making several hunting trips in the area.
Jim retired from GTE (now Verizon Communications) in 1995 after 32 years of service and had previously worked road construction and prior to that with RCA. He was a 1956 graduate of Buffalo High School, having interrupted his education to join the US Air Force in 1951 at age 17. He served in active-duty from 1951 to 1955 with a year’s stint as a jet mechanic in the 51st Wing of the 25th Squadron during the Korean War (1952-1953). He completed his high school education after discharge from active-duty and graduated along with his future wife, Charlotte J. Wray. After active-duty, he continued in the Air Force Reserve, Cambridge Unit, until 1959.
Jim loved to fish and hunt - his primary companion was his coworker, Ted Jones; liked attending knives shows with his family and the owners & operators of Koval Knives; and enjoyed spending vacations with family at the beach – mostly North Myrtle Beach. When he became less active, he enjoyed watching TV game shows and old westerns. His reading enjoyment came from the daily newspaper, local interest publications, hunting & fishing magazines, and historical books.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 56 years, Charlotte J. Whitehair (Wray) whom he had married on April 14, 1957; his eldest brother, Delton R. Whitehair; and two nephews, Troy M. Koval and Terry L. Whitehair.
Jim is survived by his brothers, Earl C. Whitehair Jr. and Jack L. Whitehair; and his sister, Cindy L. Wright.
Despite not having children of their own, both Jim and Charlotte found great delight with the company of their numerous nieces and nephews, more numerous grand nieces and grand nephews, and a few great-grand nieces and great-grand nephews – especially when any of them accompanied Jim and Charlotte on beach vacations. They were very proud of the accomplishments of their extended family in sports (whenever feasible, Jim attended his grand nephews’ hockey games); in their educational pursuits; in their careers; and mostly in their strong family bonds.
Jim was a regular at Marlene’s Restaurant for breakfast, where he became dear friends with the staff and the other breakfast regulars.
Visitation will be held Wednesday (March 15, 2023) from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Black-Epperson Funeral Home, Byesville, where funeral services will follow at 11:30 a.m. with Pastor Kirk Gable officiating. Tyler Wallace, a grand nephew, will perform a guitar solo as a tribute to Jim during the service.
Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery, Byesville, with military graveside honors conducted by the Guernsey County Veterans Council.
As expression of sympathy, the family suggests that memorial contributions may be made in Jim's name to one of the following organizations: 1) Hospice of Guernsey Inc., PO Box 1165, Cambridge OH 43725; or 2) Astoria Place, 8420 Georgetown Road, Cambridge OH 43725.
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