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WAYNESVILLE — James Newton Whitman, 87, passed away Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, at Haywood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Born in Reidsville, on Dec. 3, 1932, to the late Dewitt F. and Maggie Dominick Whitman.

James served his country honorably in the U.S. Army. He was stationed in Germany during the Cold War. James enjoyed playing tennis and watching sports in general, particularly Carolina Basketball, but most of all he really enjoyed being with his family.

James was a faithful Sunday school teacher, and Elder of First Presbyterian Church. He also enjoyed watching birds and the outdoor nature as he sat with his wife, Marjorie, to eat breakfast every morning.

James completed his bachelor’s degree in business and master’s in mathematics from Western Carolina University. James retired from Champion International after 40 years of faithful service.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by brothers Warren, Charles, and Fred Whitman; sister, Marion Edwards; and his first wife Ruth Corwin Whitman.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Marjorie Fisher; sons James Richard Whitman “Rick,” and wife Marion, Charles Brian Whitman and wife Nancy; daughter Tawnya Whitman Gray and husband Joseph Michael; stepchildren Dr. Tamera Patsey, and husband Kevin, and Dan Fisher; brother, John Whitman and wife Pat; and grandchildren Patrick, Christie, Celeste, Carleigh, Victoria, Ian, and Eve.

Funeral services will be held at Garrett Funeral Home on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 2 p.m. with Pastor Holly Davis and Pastor Patrick Womack officiating services. Burial will follow at Garrett Hillcrest Cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior from 1-2 p.m. at Garrett Funeral Home, and at other times at the residence.

The family would like to give a special thanks to Hannah, Jennifer, Amber, David, and the staff at Haywood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and special family friend Sarah Fisher, Darlene Davis, and Jeremy Fish.

Memorial contributions can be made to the American Diabetes Association P.O. Box 15829 Arlington, VA 22215.

A message of comfort may be left to the family at

To send flowers to the family of James Whitman, please visit Tribute Store.
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