COMMAND SGT. MAJOR LONNIE RAYBURN WILHITE thumbnail

COMMAND SGT. MAJOR LONNIE RAYBURN WILHITE

May 10, 1937 - December 31, 2018

COMMAND SGT. MAJOR LONNIE RAYBURN WILHITE

MAY 10, 1937 – DECEMBER 31, 2018

Funeral services for Command Sgt. Major Lonnie Rayburn Wilhite will be Friday, January 4, 2019 at 11:00 AM in the chapel of Kilpatrick Funeral Home West Monroe, LA. Interment will follow at Fellowship Cemetery in Caldwell Parish. Visitat…read more

COMMAND SGT. MAJOR LONNIE RAYBURN WILHITE

MAY 10, 1937 – DECEMBER 31, 2018

Funeral services for Command Sgt. Major Lonnie Rayburn Wilhite will be Friday, January 4, 2019 at 11:00 AM in the chapel of Kilpatrick Funeral Home West Monroe, LA. Interment will follow at Fellowship Cemetery in Caldwell Parish. Visitation will  be 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM at the funeral home.

As the Year 2018 ended on December 31 so did the accomplished and decorated life of Command Sgt. Major Lonnie Rayburn Wilhite – our loyal husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, and friend.  Lonnie died peacefully within hours of a vascular emergency.  A native of West Monroe and Columbia, LA, Lonnie graduated from West Monroe High School and Trinity University of San Antonio, Texas. Lonnie was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division elite airborne infantry of the U.S. Army specialized in parachute assault operations into hostile areas. He was a decorated Special Forces Green Beret and an Army Ranger as well.  Lonnie’s Duty Campaigns have included the Berlin Brigade of the Berlin Wall, Germany; Combat in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. A multi-linguist, Sgt. Major Wilhite was a valued Instructor at the Language School of Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas. He then served as Command Sgt. Major of Cadet Battalions for ROTC Programs of the University of Miami, Northwestern Louisiana State University, and Northeast Louisiana University, Monroe. His distinguished Military Honors, Citations, and Medals include the Purple Heart, a U.S. Decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving; the Silver Star Medal which is the 3rd highest Personal Decoration for Valor in Combat, and the Meritorious Service Medal, a Military Award presented to members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves by outstanding meritorious service to the United States. Lonnie was preceded in death by his parents, Myrtle Lee Aswell Wilhite and Walter Elder Wilhite; his son, Daniel Fagan Wilhite; brothers, Walter Eugene “Sonny” Wilhite, and Jamie Lee Wilhite.  He is survived by his beloved wife of 29 years, Patricia Ann “Patty” Patterson Wilhite; daughters, Rhonda Lee Wilhite Tolar (Ricky), Haughton, LA., Melissa Wilhite Diaz (Jose), Alexandria, VA, and Jacqueline Marie Wilhite McNeil (Mike), Hartwell, GA.; 5 Grandchildren and 7 Great-Grandchildren; sisters, Carolyn Sue Wilhite Barnes, Mount Holly, NC; and Julia Wilhite, Monroe, LA.; sisters-in-law, Glenda Rogers Wilhite West Monroe, La.  and Alice Wilhite Landmesser, Akron, Ohio; Lonnie’s brothers-in-law, Maurice Patterson (Glenda), Monroe, LA, and David Patterson (Terry), Columbia, LA. After Military retirement Lonnie was employed in sales for the Head & Enquist Heavy Equipment Company.  In full retirement, Lonnie commanded the serenity of his living on beautifully wooded acreage in Caldwell Parish, free from jungle entanglements, agent orange, parachutes, and the sounds of battle. He loved hosting picnics and cookouts and reunions for family and friends.  He particularly loved the antics and ideas of his ever-increasing number of accomplished nieces and nephews and grandchildren. Command Sgt. Major Lonnie Wilhite, we admired your love for our country and international interdependencies and partnerships; we were always amazed at the brilliance of your intellect; we loved the peace of your solitude; we grew as world citizens in your expectation that we be informed and responsible in our personal lives, careers, and competitive on the world stage.  You modeled generosity and the responsibility to assist and care about our neighbors; you were the consummate example of being authentic and true to character and integrity, and as importantly, to our own decisions and gracious acceptance of consequences of those decisions, even when the results were messy.  We learned from your counsel, your penchant for strategy and plan, your respect for the rule of law and purposeful hierarchy of command. We will miss your quiet observations and your love for us. Have a peaceful, beautiful transition to that which is greater than we are in this life.  We will sit at your counsel again in our future. God be with you, Dear One.

“A limb has fallen from our family tree that says grieve not for me; remember the best times, the laughter and the song and most of all the good life I lived while I was strong.”

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com

 

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Service Information

Visitation Information


Date: Friday, January 4, 2019

Time: 09:00 am - 11:00 am

Kilpatrick Funeral Homes - West Monroe

Address:

1321 N 7th St.
West Monroe, LA 71291

Service Information


Date: Friday, January 4, 2019

Time: 11:00 am

Kilpatrick Funeral Homes - West Monroe

Address:

1321 N 7th St.
West Monroe, LA 71291

Cemetery Information


Date: Friday, January 4, 2019

Fellowship Cemetery

Address:

Caldwell Parish, LA

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