February 16, 2022, 81, La Grange –
John Wayne Whitfield, 81, passed away on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 in the comfort of his home surrounded by the love of his family. John Wayne was born in Wayne County to the late James Weston and Nelton Carter Whitfield on August 27, 1940. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Judy Sutton Whitfield; and a brother, Walter “Pee Wee” Whitfield.
Growing up on the family farm, a love for the land flowed deeply through his being. John Wayne learned a lot about hard work and a lot about faith. Work was a way of life, a way he began to learn as soon as he could walk. Planting seed in season and praying for the ideal weather and adequate rain for a full harvest taught him how to place his trust in the Lord. Farming alongside his brother, Elton, and lifelong friend, David Vinson, all could attest that John Wayne never spoke a cross word. If there was a job to be done on the farm, John Wayne had done it. However, there was no better job to him than picking corn, soybeans, or wheat on the combine. And while all may not agree, John Wayne knew the best of tractors were painted John Deere green.
The love John Wayne had for his family was beyond compare. Marrying his best friend and the love of his life, Judy, in 1961, the two spent a wonderful 57 years together. A year later, their son, Dwayne, was born and their family was complete. Trips to the beach shared with Judy were some of his happiest moments, but any time spent with his family was coveted.
For those who loved to cook, John Wayne was the ultimate guest. No matter what had been prepared, John Wayne’s response after eating was always, “that’s the best I’ve ever eaten”.
A service of love and remembrance will be held on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at Rouse Funeral Home with Pastor Tony McLamb officiating. Committal will follow in Fairview Cemetery. The family will greet friends following the committal service.
John Wayne is survived by his son, Dwayne Whitfield and wife, Michelle; brother, Elton Whitfield and wife, Rose; sister-in-law, Jennifer Whitfield and friend, Danny Taylor; special nephew, Kevin Whitfield; and dear friend of the family, Johnna Garris.
The family wishes to extend their sincere appreciation to those who have cared for John Wayne during his declining health, including Crystal Sutton with Community Homecare and Hospice; in-home care givers, Crystal Whaley and Rena Sandridge; and his primary in-home caregiver, Louann Hardison, who has been a true blessing to the entire family and will always be considered one of their own.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.rousefh.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 3739 National Drive, Raleigh, NC 27612, or to Community Homecare and Hospice, 2309 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro, NC 27534. Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.