First United Methodist Church
190 E Franklin Blvd
Gastonia, NC 28052
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Henry Whitesides

1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Henry Whitesides Obituary
GASTONIA - Henry Monroe Whitesides, 88, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.

He was born on Sept. 16, 1928, the third son of Francis Alexander Whitesides and Myrtle Bryant Rhodes Whitesides of Wilmington. They lived on 5th Street and Henry was educated in the Gaston County Public schools. His college experience included a year at the Citadel in Charleston, SC, then transferring to UNC Chapel Hill where he graduated in 1948 with a BS in Commerce at age 19.

Rather than be drafted into the Army, as the Korean War began, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Henry served five years active duty in Europe and Korea as a fighter pilot. He completed 96 carrier landings and was promoted to the rank of Major in the Marine Reserves. After the war, the GI Bill enabled him to go to law school; he attended his alma mater, UNC Chapel Hill, and graduated with a J.D. degree in 1957 with honors. He was admitted to the NC Bar the following year.

Henry returned to Gastonia and practiced law for almost 60 years on Main Street. During this time, he garnered many awards both locally and statewide: he was a member of the Board of Governors for the North Carolina Bar Association. The Governor appointed him as a member of the North Carolina Safety and Health Review Board (OSHA). Henry also served as President of the NC Municipal Attorneys Association, as a councilor to the NC State Bar and as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Henry and his firm successfully handled a precedent setting case on behalf of Bessemer City before the US Supreme Court.

In 2002, he was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by NC Governor Mike Easley for his dedication and long public service, as first, solicitor and then as City Attorney for the City of Gastonia, a place he dearly loved. The Whitesides have been in the Gaston County area since 1785 when John and Isabella Whitesides settled here as immigrants from Ireland. They are buried in the old Pisgah ARP Church Cemetery. In 2003, he was inducted into the NC Bar Association's General Practice Hall of Fame. Henry was widely recognized as a skilled and accomplished courtroom advocate, and he was seriously considered for nomination by President Carter's administration to the federal district court bench.

His community activities were many and varied. In younger years, he attended the First ARP Church and then moved to the First Methodist Church, where he taught adult Sunday school for more than 10 years. He was on the Administrative Board when the First Methodist church built a Family Life Center, a first for Gastonia and he was instrumental in arranging the Homer Porter Fund for FUMC, Gastonia.

He was involved with the Boy Scouts, as a former Eagle Scout himself, the Gaston Chamber of Commerce, Gaston Day School and was instrumental in the founding, fund raising, and completion of the Robin Johnson Hospice House in Dallas, NC: a facility that serves the county and its residents with care and compassion during life limiting illnesses.

Tennis was one of Henry's favorite past times. He enjoyed the game for many years, especially with the men of the Prostate Open. For 19 years they played every Saturday, culminating in a tournament over Labor Day hosted by Bill Lawson. Then, as the group aged, lunch at the Gaston Country Club sufficed for the spirited competition, and camaraderie replaced their good natured rivalry.

Henry was preceded in death by his eldest son, Henry Monroe Whitesides Jr., "Monroe", who passed away in April of this year, by his second wife, Joan Pinnix (Garrison) Whitesides, his brothers, Whitt Whitesides, Johnny Whitesides, and by his beloved sister Becky Whitesides Miller (Mrs. Andrew).

In his long and full life, Henry had three families and he deliberately chose not to use the word "step" to differentiate on family from the other. He felt they were all "his" and it amounted to quite a large group.

He is survived by, his third wife, the former Susanne Albright; his daughter Margaret "Maggie" Whitesides Elliott and her husband Curtis, their children Caroline, Will, and Sarah; Sandra Morton Whitesides (Monroe's widow) her children, Trey (Henry Monroe Whitesides, III) and Hannah; his youngest son, Dr. Lee McLean "Mac" Whitesides his wife, Nancy and their sons, Michael, Daniel, and Andrew; Jenny Garrison Brunnemer and husband Mike and their daughters, Brooks Brunnemer, and Lee Brunnemer Washington and husband Steven, and their children, Will and Caroline; Sandra Garrison Hodges and her triplets, Garrison, Parker, and George; Barney Garrison and wife Debbie and their children, Cameron, Meredith, and Will Garrison, Christoper and Heather Gunter; Angela Albright Jordahl and her husband Rob and their children Erin and Jamie; Lisa Albright-Jurs and her husband Andrew and their children Drew, Linnea, and Sophie; B.P. "Trey" Albright and his wife Laura and their children Phillips, John, Anna, and Reeves; and numerous nieces and nephews.

All of the family members listed above are very grateful for the care and loving attention given to Henry during his lifetime. We are thankful for his many friends who gave him happiness and support over many, many years. We especially offer a tribute to Dr. David Thomas, Dr. Ron Digby, Dr. Ben Timmons, the staff at Covenant Village and Frances Accor, who took care of him during his last weeks on Earth. May God rest his soul.

The family will receive friends on Friday, August 18, 2017, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Living Room of Covenant Village, 1351 Robinwood Rd., Gastonia, NC 28054.

A service to celebrate Henry's life will be held 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church, 190 E. Franklin Blvd., Gastonia, NC 28052, with Rev. David Christy and Dr. James Westmoreland officiating. A reception will be held immediately following the service in the Family Life Center. A private service of committal will be held for the family in Oakwood Cemetery with Military Rites performed by the Gaston County Honor Guard.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to FUMC, Building Fund, or to the Homer Porter Fund, both c/o FUMC at PO Box 218, Gastonia, NC 28053, or to Gaston Hospice, PO Box 3984, Gastonia, NC 28054.

Condolence messages and remembrances may be shared with Henry's family and friends at www.McLeanFuneral.com.

McLean Funeral Directors is serving the family of Mr. Whitesides.
Published in Gaston Gazette on Aug. 16, 2017
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