James Rodney Whitesell, 83, of Mountain Home, Arkansas passed away at home on September 27, 2022. He was born on September 7, 1939 in Bealeton, Virginia, to Nadine F. Whitesell and Rodney G. Whitesell. He graduated from Cedar-Lee High School in Bealeton.
He served in the United States Army for 20 years, notably as part of the 46th Engineers Battalion in Vietnam, and was stationed multiple times with the 7th Army in Germany. Among other decorations, his service was recognized with a Bronze Star medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After his final tour in Grafenwöehr, Germany as a Facilities Engineer, he retired as a Sergeant Major and went on to run a hobby farm in Remington, Virginia with his wife and stepson.
In his retirement, he continued to be an active part of the veteran community, serving as Post Commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7728 in Remington, Va., and as a lifetime member of the Alley-White American Legion Post 52 in Mountain Home, Ark. He worked for the Prince William County School Board. He was a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans’ Twin Lakes Chapter 30 and Daughters of the American Revolution through his mother’s membership, was a mentor to the Baxter County Master Gardeners, and was a member of the Baxter County Republican Men’s Club, the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society, and other nonprofit organizations. He was a member of East Side Baptist Church in Mountain Home. He enjoyed farming, gardening, caring for animals, reading, and listening to country, bluegrass, blues and gospel music. He was a caring and generous husband, stepfather, grandfather, and friend.
He is survived by his stepson, Jesse Brown, III of Mountain Home, Ark. and his granddaughter, Alexandra Brown, of Atlanta, Ga.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Bertha Nell Whitesell, and his mother and father.
Visitation will be Wednesday, October 12, 2022, from 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm, at Kirby & Family Funeral Home Chapel in Mountain Home, Ark. A Funeral Service will follow at 2:00 pm at Kirby & Family Funeral Home Chapel, with Pastor Scott Speer officiating. Burial will be in Kirby's Tucker Memorial Cemetery, in Mountain Home, Ark. Military Honors will be provided by the Alley-White American Legion Post #52 and the United States Army Honor Guards.
If you wish to make a memorial donation in lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to your favorite nonprofit organization.