Eli Whittle, Jr., better known as “June”, “Junebug”, or “Deacon Eli” was born October 9, 1947, to the late Eli and Bervena Whittle in Vancleave, MS. He married the late Mary Whittle at the age of twenty-two and they celebrated their 47th Year anniversary December 20, 2015.
Eli was a proud 1966 graduate of Elizabeth H. Keys High School and attended MGCCC. Eli was drafted into the US Army after graduating high school. Upon his return from the Vietnam War, he was employed by Cocoa Company the Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding where he worked until he retired.
As an adult, he joined New Light Missionary Baptist Church, where he served on the deacon board as assistant chairman and acting chairman, Superintendent of Sunday School, Sunday School Teacher, Brotherhood president, lead singer and secretary, Mass/Senior Choir leader, bus driver, and was in charge of the cemetery and churchyard.
Everyone that knew Mr. Eli knew he was an outdoorsman. He was a member of the Swamp Runner Hunting Club and Smoking Gun Hunting Club. From a little boy until the death of his wife, he loved fishing as much as he could, hence the CB handle “Kansas Fisherman”. Also, anything he planted would grow beyond his wildest imagination. He has fruit trees planted around his house that produce year round.
To know Mr. Eli is to know “blessed and highly favored by God”, yet he remained humble. As his health began to fail, one of his doctors told him to enjoy life and live it to the fullest. Eli’s response was, “I always have.”
Eli was the middle child of fourteen children. He was preceded in death by his wife Mary Whittle, his parents, his brothers Pete, Earl, and Baby Whittle and his sister Adell Fleming.
He leaves to cherish his memories his loving children: Steveon (Natasha) Whittle and Tracy “Sabrina” Whittle; his grandchildren: Steveon Whittle, Jr., Nadiya Whittle and Amari Whittle; godchildren: DelRay Johnson and Cayla (Keith) Cox; siblings: Matthew (Harriet) Whittle, Levander (Gloria Jean) Whittle, Zella Mae (Wilbur) Reddix, Caroline (late Harry) Burney, Flora Whittle, Hellen (Robert) Simpson, Ethel (late Robert) Weathersby, Lester Whittle, Glen (Lou Ethel) Whittle; 5 brothers-in-law: Robert “Peanut” McClain, David (Alfreida) Alford, Micheal (Joyce) Alford, Dexter Alford and Lacy Alford; 2 sisters-in-law: Regina Alford and Relisa Alford; aunt: Maggie (Late Robert) Henderson; uncle and friend: Leo McClain and a special great-niece he fought with: Lisa Jackson; adopted sons: T-bone Dunning and Isaac Bilbo; a very special sister/caregiver: Ethel Weathersby who was with him until his last breath; and a host of family, friends and co-workers who loved him. Many who have expressed how they looked up to him.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Richmond August Funeral Home.