Virgil Marion (V.M.) Whitesell, Jr., 91, was born October 31, 1922 in Lewisburg, Tenn. and was the youngest child of Virgiland Bonnie Whitesell. He died November 20, 2013 in Edmond, Okla.
V.M. attended a nearby grade school through the fourth grade. Starting in the fifth grade through junior college, he attended the Christian school David Lipscomb. After he skipped the eighth grade, he was usually the youngest student in his class. In junior college he was the on the tennis team and sang baritone in the Men’s Glee Club. After his completion of junior college in Nashville he attended Abilene Christian College where he graduated with a double major in Chemistry and Mathematics. While there he played on the tennis team until his graduation.
In September of 1945 he was drafted into the Army and served in the medical corp. at Camp Crowder, Mo. and Camp Polk in Louisiana. After completion of his service he returned to Nashville to begin working at Williams Printing Company where he stayed until his retirement at age 59. While at Williams Printing Co. he served in several capacities at various times, including vice-president and treasurer. During his professional life he served on several different boards including The Printing Industry of Nashville, and The Youth Hobby Shop (an organization to help underprivileged children).
V.M. married Lois Church in May of 1948 in Nashville. Their lives began a wonderful adventure of Christian living. The first 20 years of their lives together were busy raising six children and caring for two foster children. He was never too busy to set aside time for his family. He took his sons hunting and fishing regularly and enjoyed supporting all his children in all their different interests and activities. One of his hobbies was being a Ham radio operator. He enjoyed setting up his equipment in corner of the dining room and even had a large antenna put up in the back yard. Late at night you would find him enjoying his radio, when there was less static and squawks to interfere, we weren’t sure if he meant the static and squawks from inside the house or out.
Both V.M. and Lois were reared in Christian homes and had a strong faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It has always been the foundation of their relationship and family. His leadership of his family was based on the Bible being the sole authority of our lives.
As the children grew and became more occupied with their own schedules, he found creative ways to make sure there were daily bible readings, including listening to scriptures by tape at the breakfast table if he wasn’t available to read it personally. His primary focus was always sharing God’s word. While in Nashville he worshiped at the Hillsboro Church of Christ where he served as a deacon, and then the Vultee Church of Christ where he served as a deacon and an elder. His passion was personal evangelism, so after his retirement V.M. and Lois moved to London to begin a seven year work with the Wembley Church of Christ. During his time there he taught classes, held bible studies, served as treasurer and encouraged both members and non-believers to seek God’s will through the scriptures.
In 1989 they returned to the U.S. and moved to Edmond. During the past 25 years they worshipped with the Memorial Road Church of Christ where he served as a deacon. During this time they also traveled and helped with seven more campaigns overseas to work with spreading God’s word.
During the last few years he loved his time worshiping with his friends at Memorial Road where so many have shared their love and kindness. He leaves behind a legacy of faithfulness and commitment. His wish for all of us would be to live a life worthy of God’s sacrifice, and share His message to as many people as we can.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Virgil and Bonnie Whitesell and his son, Robert “Bob”, and his two sisters, Marion and Dot.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Lois; his children, Pam (Arlin) Hendrix of Lyon, France, David (Donna) Whitesell of White Bluff, Tenn., Wayne (Kim) Whitesell of Edmond, Barbara Engle of Hilo, Hawaii. 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and precious friends.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at Matthews Funeral Home Chapel.
Services are under the direction of Matthews Funeral Home and Cremation Service.