Michael Ray WhiteleyAustin, TN, 1951 - 2016
May his story never end and his music never die. Michael Ray Whiteley passed away Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, in Austin. Michael was born July 15, 1951, in Oceanside, Calif. He grew up calling the "Hogs" in Berryville, Ark. But when the family moved to Jacksonville, Fla., he didn't miss a beat as he eventually became a Seminole. When around Michael, you became entranced with his presence. His intellect was equaled only by his humor. His writing took him all over the country (including, locally, at the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette), but it was his artfully crafted words and candid style that drew readers into the journey. He was a true journalist through-and-through; he loved telling a story. Off the clock, he was an avid music enthusiast--always singing or playing the trombone, guitar or piano. He was preceded in death by his son, Sean Whiteley; mother, Dorothy Blanchard Whiteley Hall; father, Bert Whiteley; and his former wife, Beverly Jones Whiteley Saunders. Survivors: His daughter, Lexie Whiteley Worley; son-in-law, Doak Worley; his sister, Tiffany Whiteley Turner: and brother-in-law, Brett Turner. Service: A memorial service will be held on Aug. 12, 2017, at Son's Chapel, 5480 E. Mission Boulevard, Fayetteville, Ark., 72701 from 11 a.m. – noon. Memorials: The family created a scholarship in his honor to support investigative journalism students at Florida State University. To donate online:give.fsu.edu/cci. Please include Michael Whiteley in the Tribute Section. By mail/check: FSU Foundation Fund #1704/In honor of Michael Whiteley, FSU Foundation, 2010 Levy Ave., Bldg. B, Tallahassee, Fla., 32306.
Published August 6, 2017