George Willis Whitehead passed away on May 13, 2021 in Fountain Hills. He was born Dec. 4, 1922 in Flint, Mich., to George and Ruby Dobbs Whitehead. He was orphaned at the age of 11 months due to both his parents’ untimely deaths. Raised by foster parents, Floyd and Lena Parker, friends of his parents, who were a wonderful mother and father to the young George.
He graduated Flint Central High School in 1941 and married Rosemary Lindholm in 1942. He was drafted by the Army three times and denied due to a medical condition.
George was active in the Birmingham, Mich., community and served as president of the PTA and instrumental in developing the Birmingham-Bloomfield Teen Center.
George spent 12 years managing Hanover Shoe stores, joining Esquire Socks in February 1955. In 1968 he was promoted to national sales manager and moved with his family to Westchester County, N.Y., commuting to Manhattan for five years while traveling the entire country on behalf of Esquire Socks.
He moved the entire family back to Birmingham, Mich., to start GW Associates in 1972, a sales rep firm for men’s clothing and uniforms for hospitals and restaurants. The uniforms were manufactured in Haiti, where he developed many good relations with the Haitian people.
After meeting the love of his life, Barbara Patterson, they moved to Arizona in 1998. They were married in 2005 while living the good life in Fountain Hills. They made many good friends and were able to travel the world together. As the first employee at the new Target store in Fountain Hills, he worked for 14 years before retiring at age 93.
He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara, and three children, George W. Whitehead Jr. (Phyllis), Robert P. Whitehead (Debbie) and Susan W. Potter (Jeff); seven grandchildren, Elizabeth Ludwig (Josh), Ted Potter (Sarah), Josh Potter (Liz), Patrick Whitehead (Alicia), Cody Whitehead (Stefanie) and seven great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by two sisters, Loraine Whitehead Curry and Frankie Whitehead Seneff.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills AZ 85268. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Sept. 18, at 11 a.m. at Messinger Fountain Hills Mortuary.