Gene Whitehead, 92

Gene Whitehead of Menard passed away Saturday, Feb. 26, 2005, in his home with his family at his side. He was 92. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28 at the First United Methodist Church of Menard. Pallbearers were Brent Haney Bratton, Wesley A. Roland, Monte Lyckman, Bill Royal, Murph Compton and Scott Dudley. Honorary pallbearers were Robert Junell, Marvin Roland and Jimmy Powell. Gene was born in Calf Creek, Tex. on March 2, 1912, to Effie Boyer and Cary Barnett Whitehead. He attended Brady schools and married the love of his life, Nance Bauhof, on Nov. 9, 1933, in Del Rio, Tex. Gene started his career with Brady Freight Lines, then became partners with Houston Harte and merged the business with Sunset Truck Lines. Gene and his brother, C.L. (Whitey) Whitehead formed Merchants Fast Motor Lines in Abilene. Other business interests were Oil Transport, Gypsum Transport, Prudential Steel in Canada with partner, Frank Late, Transport Insurance Company of Dallas, Merchants Metals and Hackney Fence of Houston. After moving to Menard, Gene purchased the Menard National Bank along with partner William (Bill) Carter, and served as chairman of the board. Gene was past president of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association and past president of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. When Gene and his family moved to Menard he quickly became a pillar of the community. He was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Menard County Chamber of Commerce in 1996, received an Honorary Chapter FFA Degree in 1997-98 for his involvement with the 4-H and FFA programs and always generously contributed to the annual PTA auction benefitting Menard schools and children. Ranching was one of Gene’s main interests. He had ranches in Menard, Concho and Schleicher Counties and the Granite Hill Hereford Ranch in Llano County on which he bred prize winning Herefords that won blue ribbons in cattle shows all over the United States. Gene was friendly and down to earth. It was always fun to see and visit with him. You could catch him at the post office or downtown or at the bank and he would always greet you with a smile and hearty handshake. He enjoyed people dropping into the office just to say “hi,” and people felt comfortable doing so. You could count on him being there right around 9 a.m., because he didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘retire.” Gene will be sorely missed by his family, friends and this community. Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Effie and C.B Whitehead; two sisters, Minnie Grimes and Audry Montgomery, both of Brady, his brother, Whitey Whitehead of Dallas; his son, William Gene Whitehead; a daughter-in-law, Leigh Whitehead and a granddaughter, Kara Leigh Whitehead of Llano. Gene is survived by his loving wife, Nance Whitehead of Menard; and a grandson, Cody Gene Whitehead of Austin; along with loving nieces, nephews and friends. The family requests that memorials be made to the West Texas Rehabilitation Center.

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