Robert Edward Wilhite, 80, of Cape Girardeau passed away Monday, June 2, 2003, at Southeast Missouri Hospital.
He was born Nov. 28, 1922, in Liberal, Kan., son of Dr. John R. Wilhite and Lillian May Abington Wilhite. He and Mary Dean Johnson were married Aug. 7, 1960.
Robert attended Franklin Elementary School and was a graduate of Central High School. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1946.
The Coffee Drinkers Friendship Club was a philanthropic club that furnished school lunches and clothing for children of the area. Robert was a charter member, served as an officer, and managed the bingo stand.
He was a member of Whitewater Masonic Lodge No. 417 AF&AM, was a Scottish Rite Mason, member of Lynwood Baptist Church, a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans, and served 14 years on Cape Girardeau County Park Board.
Robert was employed at Harris Motor Car Co., Colonial Manor Service Station, McNeely Service Station, managed the Apache Drive In, managed a service station and restaurant near Steele, Mo., had an interest in a floor-covering business, and worked in management 30 years for Charles N. Harris Enterprises.
Beginning as a lad with his grandfather, Mr. A.L. Abington, Robert had a consuming interest in hunting and fishing,
Robert is survived by his wife; a son, Arthur Robert Wilhite of Cape Girardeau; a sister, Lillian Detherage (Kenneth) of Jackson; a brother, John R. Wilhite (Mary) of Cape Girardeau; cousins, Janet Steger (James) of St. Louis, Arthur Abington (Peggy) of Broken Arrow, Okla., and Patsy Thompson of St. Louis.
The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. today at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home, with the Rev. Derek Staples officiating. Burial will be in Cape County Memorial Park.
Memorials may be made to Whitewater Lodge No. 417 AF&AM, or Cape Girardeau County Park.