Obituaries » Charles E Whatley
December 27, 1946 - November 27, 2023
Charles (Chuck) E. Whatley was born in 1946 in Kissimmee, Florida to Cecil and Edna Whatley. He peacefully passed to the Lord November 27, 2023, at Good Shepherd Hospice House after a two-year devastating battle that he never let defeat him.
He was raised in Haines City and lived all of his life in Polk County except for the two years when he was drafted for the Viet Nam War and a few years when he and his wife lived in her Alabama hometown. As a Gator, he was always pulling pranks on her Crimson Tide relatives.
As a young boy, and a “lefty “, he taught himself to pitch using then, an endless supply of Florida Oranges for baseballs. After graduating from Haines City High he received a baseball scholarship from Chipola Jr. College that was interrupted, by The United States Army.
Chuck early on, developed the natural skill of connecting with people, mentors and customers. Those bonds served him well personally, and in his business and sales career. The many mentors in his life were very special to him.
For a short period, he worked with his father and brother in the well drilling business. Then, He and family members grew the most beautiful ferns in a nursery business that could not survive the 1980’s Florida freezes. As an innovator, he developed dry colorful florals (Eucalyptus), for the largest Florida grocery chain. With his creative wife Geneva, they expanded to floral silks and specialty arrangements for many markets. He was always driven to be the best. Year after year he was number one in auto sales that progressed to a very successful venture with Geneva in real estate sales.
He always loved to boat and fish, experience the Kissimmee Boat-a-Cade, Lobstering in The Keys, following The Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Team, and just enjoying Florida’s beauty. He loved motor homes and surprised most, when he lived his last months in a beautiful RV he purchased in March. His new neighbors (like his current neighbors) embraced and loved him. He was a fanatic about the care of his vehicles and homes, constantly washing and waxing them. They were a source of pride, energy and admiration.
We were told that even in elementary school, the girls were competing for his affection. In spite of his illness, he always had a natural wit to socialize with the nurses and ladies. He so loved his dogs they were a special comfort in life and his illness.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents, brother Kenneth Whatley, sister Martha Conover, companion and best friend Geneva Petus.
He is survived by his: Sister Syble DuBose, stepson Troy Petus, nephews- Dennis Myers, Garrett Whatley, Donald Boggs, and Daryl Harrison. nieces- Cheryl Flanery, Debbie Boodt and his beloved dog Lucky A time and date will be announced for a gathering of friends and family as well as a military burial at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.
In lieu of Flowers please consider the American Cancer Society or your favorite charity.