He was born in 1928 to Bessie and Howard Whittington in Elk Park, NC. Gorley worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps building infrastructure works in East TN and NC, and then joined the Army at 17, which eventually led him to meet the love of his life, Beatrice “Joy” Bartlow, in the Mohave Desert.
Gorley always served in the church, whether as elder, deacon, electrician-on-call, or volunteer in the Food Pantry. Gorley retired after 36 years in the U.S. Army as a missile technician on the Nike-Hercules Strategic Air Defense System. He spent many hours fishing, especially on the Elk River with his buddy, Arnold, and was often found fixing a farmer’s tractor or a widow’s washing machine. He had the kindest, humblest heart.
Gorley and his little Yorkie companion, Lacey, lived out their final days at Crown Cypress Assisted Living in Kingsport, Tennessee, where he was treated like family by the excellent staff of that facility.
He was preceded in death by his dear wife, Joy, his parents, two brothers, and six sisters.
Gorley is survived by his children and their spouses: David and Janet Whittington, John and Judy Whittington, Belinda and Phil Alley, and Betsy and David McPeak; nine grandchildren, Chris Gentle, Jason Whittington, Jessica Whittington, Kayla Kerns, Jonathan McPeak, Isaiah McPeak, Josiah McPeak, Samuel McPeak, and Jordan Whittington; as well as eight great-grandchildren.
The family will receive friends from 12-2:00 pm on Friday, February 15, 2019 at Colonial Heights Christian Church. Funeral services will be at 2:00 pm at the church with Bruce Montgomery, minister, officiating. Burial will follow at Lovelace Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery with military honors to be conducted by The American Legion Posts 3/265.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Colonial Heights Christian Church Food Pantry, 105 Meadow Ln, Kingsport, TN 37663.
Please visit www.hamlettdobson.com to leave an online condolence for the family.
Hamlett-Dobson, Kingsport is serving the family of Gorley Whittington.