On September 15, 2020, George Preston Whitley III took the hand of Jesus, and crossed over into Heaven taking into its celestial home an award winning Sports Writer, a proud father of one precious little girl, and most loving husband. George was born August 28, 1966, at what he always teased was the most perfect time of day, 8:01 am, to a WWII Veteran, George Preston Whitley, Jr, and Opal Dean Whitley. He was only seconds into his journey here on earth when he became the shining light in his parents eyes. In the years to follow George’s dad introduced him to the game on the gridiron, with his fandom beginning as a White Oak Roughneck. He and his father attended their first Roughneck football game at the age of twelve. Soon after they took their first sojourn down to what he called “God’s country” to watch what would become his most favorite college football team, the Texas Longhorns. Thus began a lifelong love of football for not only the Roughnecks and Longhorns, but also the Dallas Cowboys. He graduated from White Oak High School in 1985. He attended Kilgore College, and his love for sports gifted from his father, and his ability to paint a picture with his words, followed him in the years to come as he became Sports Writer at the Kilgore College newspaper, “The Flare”. He became a Sports Editor and worked at various newspapers starting out, including the Henderson Daily News. He took a short 18 year respite from the sporting world to work at O&D Manufacturing, in his new role as Inside Raw Material Sales. He considered O&D part of his family, and enjoyed the many friendships he found there with co-workers and customers alike. When the economy made its fateful decision to set his course back into the sporting world, he met with Jack Stallard, Sports Editor at the Longview News Journal, and the two lifelong friends were reunited and Jack became his boss, while George continued down the path he was “born to do”. He was blessed to be part of such a great sports department, and he thrived and relished all the time he spent with the East Texas Coaches, staff, young people, and anyone he met at any game he was covering. Beyond his sporting career, you could find him with his family. His world revolved around his daughter, Holly. He’d be seen everyday, in car pick up at her school, hours before school ended, just so he could catch a wave from
her before she went to her last class. He never missed any event she was involved in, from ballet to volleyball. He always found a way to be there, and more times than not, he’d be the first to arrive. He was the most supporting husband and best friend a wife could ask for. His love for “his girls”, was unprecedented. He loved deeply and rarely took for granted his time here on earth. His memory will be treasured by many hearts from family and friends near and far.
He was preceded in death by his, father, George P. Whitley Jr. and mother, Opal Dean Whitley. Survivors include his wife, Melanie Whitley, and daughter, Holly Whitley, Father-in-law Perry M. Maxwell, Mother-in-law Barbara J. Maxwell, Brother-in-law Scott Maxwell and his wife Tammy Maxwell, and nephew Skeeter Maxwell, family and many precious friends. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the American Heart Association.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 2:00 P.M. at Oakland Heights Baptist Church in Longview. A private interment will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be left at cammackfamilly.com.
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