William Robert Whitehurst
1956 - 2021
Whitehurst, William Robert

December 19, 1956 - February 19, 2021

Mr. William Robert Whitehurst, 64, died February 19, 2021, from complications of scleroderma, a disease with which he lived valiantly and graciously for over 40 years. He was born December 19, 1956, in Taipei, Taiwan, to Dorothy Shackleton Whitehurst and Charles Sporman Whitehurst, Jr. who predeceased him. He grew up in Singapore, Laos, Hong Kong, and Bethesda, Md., while his father worked for the U.S. government. Mr. Whitehurst graduated cum laude from Wake Forest University in 1978 with honors in economics. He was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He received Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the North Carolina Law Review and was named to the Order of the Coif and Beta Gamma Sigma. He practiced law for 35 years with Womble Bond Dickinson until he was forced to retire due to health reasons. At the time of his retirement, he was the managing partner of the firm's Winston-Salem office and a member of its Firm Management Committee. While practicing law, he was recognized regularly for excellence in corporate, employee benefits, and tax law by Best Lawyers in America, and he was named as the Triad's Lawyer of the Year multiple times for employee benefits law. Bill was devoted to education. He was a founder of Davidson Academy in Lexington and was a former member of the Board of Trustees at Forsyth Country Day School. He chaired the 2017 Winston-Salem Heart Ball benefiting the American Heart Association, participated in Leadership Winston-Salem, and attended Centenary United Methodist Church. His family and friends will remember him as a kind, generous, positive gentleman who embraced people lovingly and lived life fully. He thoroughly enjoyed Wake Forest sports, golfing, boating, and traveling. He is survived by his devoted wife of 28 years, Jane Leonard Whitehurst; four sons, William Robert Whitehurst, Jr., of Cambridge, Ma.; David Clark Smith III of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Alden Hamilton Smith and his wife, Jennie, of Winston-Salem; and Robert Spruill Smith and his wife, Claudia, of Cary; granddaughters Evelyn Georgeia Smith and Calhoun Worcester Smith; brother, Michael Charles Whitehurst and his wife, Nan, of North Potomac, Md.; sister-in-law, Julia Leonard Spalding and her husband, Carter, of Richmond, Va.; several nieces and nephews; and honorary son Yihao (Jonathan) Zhou of Fairfax, Va. A private burial service will be held in Lexington. The family plans to host a celebration of Bill's life at a later time. In lieu of flowers, the family gratefully suggests that memorials be made to Wake Forest University, attn: Bill Whitehurst fund, c/o Paul Kennedy, Deacon Club, 499 Deacon Boulevard, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27105, or a charity of the donor's choice.

Davidson Funeral Home

301 N. Main Street, Lexington, NC 27292
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Published by Winston-Salem Journal on Feb. 23, 2021.
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4 Entries
All Honor To His Name. In Hoc Brother Whitehurst
F. Garner Roof
February 28, 2021
May you Rest In Peace bill I didn´t get the chance to meet you I was going to be a new care giver with bill on his way home from the hospital. Hearing all the good things about you I couldn´t wait to meet you I guess God had different plans may you rest peacefully and your family and friends have healing hearts in this time.
Shonie hodnett
February 27, 2021
Bill and I shared many mutual clients. He was a pleasure to work with and his wisdom and guidance will be truly missed by all.
Bill Stsnley
February 23, 2021
I got to know Bill in high school and knew him as one of the most decent, honorable, kind and thoughtful individuals I have ever met. Having lost track of each other I read his life story and realize it mirrors what I already knew of him. Courageous to the very end, generous, very compassionate and simply quite amazing. My prayers are with the family for peace, comfort and the assurance that Bill is in a better place where disease and pain are no more. May God bless the Whitehurst family.
Bob Moran
February 23, 2021