Gary Wayne Whaley

Gary Wayne Whaley

May 26, 2023, 69, La Grange –

June 22, 1953– May 26, 2023

Gary Wayne Whaley passed away at UNC Lenoir on May 26, 2023. Gary was born in Coffee County, TN on June 22, 1953, to the late Ernest Wilton Whaley and Alma Keeton Whaley.

From an early age, Gary had two major events happen which changed the course of his life. The first was meeting the love of his life at age 12. Gary knew June was the one for him. It was a challenge to convince her dad he was the right one for his daughter. But, in the end, after a few years, he won him over and married June. They spent the next 51 years together, just celebrating their anniversary recently. The next event which changed his life was joining the US Air Force. This was his lifelong career and retired as MSGT after 20 years of service. Gary and June traveled all over the world and enjoyed raising their family together.

Gary was a quiet and sometimes intimidating man when he first met someone. Once he grew to know you, Gary was a true friend. He was one who could be counted on and Gary enjoyed taking care of those around him. He had a ritual of collecting the pecans from his yard and making pecan pies for his friends at Christmas, including those at the doctor’s office and places he had been. It was his way of sharing joy with others.

If you wanted to see Gary relaxing and enjoying life, you would find him fishing. He loved the outdoors and found a new rhythm of life in his retirement. He also loved playing pub games like darts and shooting pool. He tried to never miss a race, even when he was in the hospital.

Gary was precise about his yard and made sure everything was immaculate. There was no need to plant flowers, they got in the way of a pristine yard. While Gary could be quiet and what some may call a bit stubborn, he was a completely different person with his grandchildren. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for them and they made his day every moment he could spend with them. But all knew, as much as he loved his children and grandchildren, the one who captured his heart would be his forever love, June.

Every year, as the daffodils bloomed, he would gather a handful and surprise June with her favorite. She was his everything. Gary’s enjoyment of life and his deep love for his family will be missed.

A Service of Remembrance will be held in the chapel of Rouse Funeral Home on June 6, 2023, at 12 noon. The family will greet friends at the Funeral Home from 11 am – 11:45 am, prior to the service. Following the service, a procession will lead to the graveside committal at the Eastern Carolina State Veteran’s Cemetery in Goldsboro, NC. The graveside will take place at 2:00 pm on June 6, 2023.

Gary is survived by his wife of 51 years, June Daniels Whaley; children, Kristi Whaley Andrews (Kelvin), and Phillip W Whaley; grandchildren, Kalyah, Krystopher (Gwen), Kieryn, Kiyana, and Phillip Scott; great-grandchildren, Kaden, Kyleigh, Aaliyah, Brandon, Kehlani-Zo, Amara Leigh, and Azlyn. In addition to his parents, Gary was proceeded in death by his siblings Ernest Dale Whaley and Wanda A Whaley Parker.

Online condolences can be made at

Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange, NC.