James Charles “J. C.” was the fourth of four born to the late McElroy and Addie Ree Davis Whatley on April 4, 1933 in Alexander City, Alabama.
On October 25, 1956, James C. united in matrimony with Betsy Abernathy. To this union, three children: Kenny, Chauncy and Lawanna were born.
As he matriculated through youth and adulthood he was a devoted member of Haven United Methodist Church until declining health ceased his attendance. A premier fullback and 1952 graduate of Laurel High School, a Korean War veteran, a Civil Rights and community activist, an educator of 30 years, a swimming instructor and lifeguard of fifteen years at Laurel Pool, a model, membership in Friends of the Theater, ISTAP, Alexander City/Tallapoosa Co. Alabama State University Alumni Association and the Alabama Democratic Conference,
J. C. desired to inspire and motivate, led by example, looked beyond circumstances, embraced opportunities, was the change and made a difference.
All culminating in his commitment to education, dedication to his beloved Alabama State University and HORNET Nation Football allowed J. C. to live his life on his terms while impacting others throughout his journey.
On Thursday, May 27, 2021, his earthly odyssey was completed and preceded in death by his wife, Betsy; sibling, Leroy, and John Frank Whatley and Celeste Towns.
Those left to cherish his memory are his children: Kenny (Michelle); Chauncy (Elaine) Whatley and Lawanna (Ken) Walker. Five grandchildren: Marcus B.; Brittany D. and Kayla S. Whatley; Melissa A. and Orlando K. Walker, II. Sister, Margie R. Nash. Brothers-in-law: Walter (Tina); Bennie (Carolyn) and Morris Abernathy. He will also be missed by a host of nephews and nieces.
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