Roger Dale Whitehead, 76, of Amarillo, passed away on Monday, April 22, 2019. A Celebration of Life will be 4:00 pm Friday at Hillcrest Baptist Church, 2901 Martin Rd. Roger Dale Whitehead was born in Fort Worth, Texas in Tarrant County on December 08, 1942 to L.H. and Claudell Whitehead. He moved with his family to Amarillo, Texas at the age of two and lived there all his life except for a brief few months when his long time job at ICX (Illinois California Express) moved him to Albuquerque, NM. He loved his life. He loved to tell the story of the fantastic biscuits and gravy his aunt would make. He was not allowed to the cross he street, but he did every morning to get those biscuits and said they were worth the whipping every time. The last story he shared with us over this last week was that he and his two brothers, Steve and Don, along with his cousin, Doug, shared a 12x10 lean-to room off the house. These were not your average small boys and on some cold winter nights, those boys had to split the room with up to 200 chicks. What adventures they had. I recall one story where the boys were wrestling in the house and one threw the other through the wall. To hide it, they thought they would just move the refrigerator in front of the hole. Much to their chagrin, they were discovered since the front door would no longer fully open. At the age of fifteen, his whole life changed the day a pretty girl sitting behind him in class tapped him on the back and offered him Dentyne gum. He politely declined 3 times then turned around to Michal Ann to tell her that he was going to marry her one day. He went home to tell his mom, Claudell, who promptly informed him that Michal Ann would never marry him. Well, after 57 years of wonderful marriage, I guess he proved her wrong. In school, Roger was coached by legendary NFL coach Bum Phillips. Bum Phillips was quoted in the paper saying that Roger was one of the most naturally gifted athletes he had ever coached. Roger also loved the fact that an article was written about him on how great a babysitter he was while in school. In the article, one of the parents he babysat for was asked why they would want a big guy like Roger watching their kids. He replied, “If someone broke in your house, would you want this guy or a little girl protecting your kids?”. He was always an incredibly hard worker. If not helping his brother, Steve wire solos, or building houses, he was babysitting. His talent in building continued on in life as he made many pieces of furniture for his family and at one point went into business with his son Dale, building houses. On January 31, 1962 Roger married the love of his life, Michal Ann. They had four children. Michele, Dale (also known as Spooky), RoseMary, and Rebekah. He took great pride in providing for his family. Not only financially, but he adamantly wanted to spend time with his family and be involved in their lives. He was an LTL truck driver. He dealt in great deals of freight and would always be the one to accept overtime. So many stories were witnessed and told about Roger’s incredible strength. We often joke as if they were tales, but I, Rebekah, believe there is more truth to them than we know. Later in his driving career, he did get to go coast to coast. He loved every minute of seeing all the amazing sights. One of his favorites was a military installation in a mountain in which he could not disclose the location. Only a truck driver with his skill level could navigate the narrow tunnels, in which he had to pull his mirrors in flat to the truck just to get through. He loved his family. Michele, his oldest child, is the family historian and record keeper. She can provide any fact or detail you may need. This was evident as a little girl. Dad was helping his Uncle Gat at his house and nails were being dropped on the ground in the process of their building. Michele took a little bucket and filled it to the brim with all the dropped nails and brought them to Dad. He told her he didn’t need them to just go put them back. So one by one, she placed each nail exactly where she found it. Dale, aka Spooky, was the second child. Dad loved going to see all of Dale’s sports and singing events. Dale remembers fondly a memory with Dad after his football team defeated Borger for the first time during his high school years. Dad was waiting as he ran off the field with his arms opened wide. Dale ran full force and just jumped into Dad’s arms. Dad did not even flinch, he just wrapped his big, strong arms around Dale and embraced him. RoseMary is the third child. Dad and Mom had been praying for her. Dad loved her so much, that when he did not have the money to pay for an adoption, he entered into an agreement with the lawyer to build him a barn in trade for him to work up the papers. From the moment that he and Mom laid eyes on her, he loved her and wanted to do everything in his power for her. Rebekah was the fourth child and an unexpected oops, hence her name Reject. That nickname did not faze her, she knew she was deeply loved. Pizza Planet was one of our favorite places to eat as a family. One day Rebekah challenged Dad to an eating competition. Of course Dad would take the big slices and Rebekah the small. She had kept up one for one and when she could do no more, Dad took one more slice. Rebekah just slid under the table her belly rising above it as she was so full. Dad swore he did not know he was in a competition, but we know the truth. He liked to win as much as Rebekah does. Dad’s family (loving known as the tribe) expanded into a beautiful group of grandchildren, Alex (who is now reunited with his Grandpa in Heaven), Paige, K’Leigh, Claire, Bailey, Jake, Jack, Ella, and Hannah. As well as his sons-in-law, Kay Duke, and Joshua Birappagari; and his daughter-in-law, Shannon Whitehead; and his daughter-in-love, Jean Whitehead. Now about his grandchildren, do not get him started. They are all perfect and exceptional at whatever they do. If you ever tried to debate him, you would lose. You would only feed the fire that would cause him to explain to you even more how as he looked at them and he saw the next President Of The United States, Gold Medalist, Pulitizer Prize winner etc….. If you go by the book, Roger Dale and Michal Ann were married 57 years. But, if you go by his heart, they’ve been married from the day she offered him Dentyne gum at the age of 15. He told her just a few days before his passing that he had never loved another other than her. Even in his last moments he was reaching out and looking for her. He wanted her precious face to be the last thing he saw on this earth. He is waiting for her now. The only One he loved more than his family was Jesus. Dad was never stressed about anything. He always said, “Jesus takes care of me”. Dad not only knew Matthew 6:25-34, he lived it. He was an incredibly generous man. He felt like everything he was given was by the grace of God and he held his hand out freely to those in need as he knew the Father would always take care of him. He was the defender of the underdog and had an incredible gift of exhortation. We rejoice that he is now in the arms of our sweet Jesus.
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Hillcrest Baptist Church Building Fund
2901 Martin Rd, Amarillo TX 79107