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John R. Whitehead Jr.

May 13, 1938 August 28, 2019
John R.  Whitehead Jr.
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Obituary for John R. Whitehead Jr.

John R. Whitehead Jr., 81, of Fredonia, Kansas passed away Wednesday, August 28, 2019, at Morningstar Assisted Living in Fredonia.
John was born in Eureka, Kansas on May 13, 1938, to J. Robert Whitehead and Jessanna Rose Wiggins. He graduated from Fredonia High School in 1956.
On April 6, 1958, in Fredonia, Kansas John was united in marriage to Geraldine Million, and she proceeded him in death on November 26, 2016.
John’s military career spanned from October of 1955 to October of 1985. He joined the Fredonia National Guard in October of 1955. He later enlisted into the Army a year later as a Private E-2. In January of 1957, John completed basic training at Fort Carson, Colorado, and was assigned to a Nike missile battery in Chicago. From July of 1959 until October of the same year, John was at Fort Bliss, Texas for training in a Nike-Hercules unit and was assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In April of 1961, John was assigned to a Hercules unit in Thule, Greenland. While there, John was promoted to Sergeant E-5 in March of 1962. He remained in Thule until May of 1962. John was moved to a Hercules unit in Omaha, Nebraska in May of 1962. He was promoted to Staff Sergeant E-6 in August of 1963. In the same month, he was moved to Fort Bliss, Texas to become a missile maintenance mechanic. He stayed in Texas until March of 1964 when he was stationed at Arlington Heights, Illinois. There John worked with the state's National Guard on Hercules missiles. In October of 1966, he moved again to Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks, Alaska, where he stayed until June 1971. In Alaska, in October of 1969, John was promoted to Sergeant First Class. He applied for Warrant Office in the summer of 1972 and was accepted in November 1972. In June 1971 John was again stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas, this time as an instructor on the missile system. John was promoted to Warrant Officer and assigned to Homestead, Florida in November of 1972. In August of 1974, John was stationed in Korea as an assembly technician. Two years after moving to Korea, John was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer W-2. In September 1975 he returned to Homestead, Florida, where he was until October 1976. In October of 1976, he retired as a CW2. For a time, he worked for Cobalt Boats until he was recalled. In October 1980 he was recalled to active duty and attended a refresher course at Fort Bliss, Texas. In January of 1981, John was stationed in Germany at several different units from Frankfort to Bremerhaven on the North Sea. He was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer W-3 in October 1984. Due to being recalled his two-year lock-in after the promotion was waived, allowing him to retire in October of 1985. When he retired, he had served for 30 years. He chose to return to Cobalt Boat in Neodesha until he retired in early 2000.
John will be remembered for his military service as well as being sorry for “dragging my family all over the country”.
John enjoyed gardening, hunting, fishing, golf, and refurbishing golf clubs.
John was survived by:
Children: Tammy (Lynn) Higerd of Colby, Kansas, John (Kathy)Whitehead III of Hancock, Iowa, and Thomas (LeaAnn) Whitehead of Independence, Kansas
Siblings: S. E. Whitehead and wife Madge of Liberty, Kansas, Marvin Whitehead of Fredonia, Kansas, Philip Whitehead and wife Debbie of Independence, Kansas, Ellen Whitehead of Independence, Kansas, Rita Fulghum and husband Richard of Fredonia, Kansas, and Marlene Whitehead of Joplin Missouri
Grandchildren and great-grandchildren: William and Jennifer Higerd, Isaiah and Garrett; Valarie and Brandon White, Demetrian; Christopher Whitehead and family; Dustin Whitehead and family; Corey Stair and family; Jesse Stair and family; Cassandra Keil and family; and Ryan Whitehead.
John was preceded in death by both of his parents and his wife, as well as:
Brother: George Whitehead
Granddaughter: Desiree Prater
Sister-in-law: Anna Whitehead
Friends may sign the register book Monday, September 2, 2019, from 3:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. with the family receiving friends from 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. at Wickham Family Funeral Home, 510 North 7th, Fredonia, Kansas.
Celebration of Life Funeral Services will be held 11:00 A.M., Tuesday, September 3, 2019, at Wickham Family Funeral Home.
Interment will follow at Fredonia City Cemetery with full military rites conducted by the Fort Riley Honor Guard.
Memorial remembrances are suggested to the Avenue of Flags and they may be left or mailed to the funeral home.

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Previous Events





5:00 PM 9/2/2019 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 9/2/2019 7:00:00 PM
Wickham Family Funeral Home - Fredonia

510 N 7th St
Fredonia, KS 66736

Wickham Family Funeral Home - Fredonia
510 N 7th St Fredonia 66736 KS
United States

Funeral Service




11:00 AM 9/3/2019 11:00:00 AM
Wickham Family Funeral Home - Fredonia

510 N 7th St
Fredonia, KS 66736

Wickham Family Funeral Home - Fredonia
510 N 7th St Fredonia 66736 KS
United States

Cemetery Details


Fredonia City Cemetery Final Resting Place

South Cement Plant Road
Fredonia, KS 66736

South Cement Plant Road Fredonia 66736 KS
United States

Memorial Contribution

Avenue of Flags

Fredonia, KS 66736

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