Larry Curtis Whitley, 71, of Benton, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 19, at Saline Memorial Hospice House in Bryant. He was born Nov. 19, 1940, in Little Rock to Kathryn Northern Whitley and John Curtis Whitley, who preceded him in death.
He graduated from Benton High School, attended the University of Arkansas, where he was a Sigma Nu. He graduated from Henderson State University and from Louisiana State University School of Banking. His banking career began at Benton State Bank where he later served as president and CEO. He also served as president and CEO of First National Bank of Warren, Elk Horn Bank and Trust of Arkadelphia, and Regions Bank of Benton, where he retired.
Larry was a true community banker who enjoyed being able to help many people start businesses and buy homes throughout his career. He served six years in the Arkansas Air National Guard.
He was a Paul Harris Fellow with the Benton-Bauxite Rotary Club; president of the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce; a member of First United Methodist Church, where he was a founding member of the Roundtable Sunday School Class; a member of the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation Board of Directors; chairman of the United Way; and a member of the Henderson State University Foundation Board of Directors. He also took part in many other civic activities.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Joyce White Whitley; two sons, John Curtis Whitley and wife Susan of Vilonia and Blake W. Whitley and wife Laura of Hot Springs; five granddaughters, Brianna, Sydney, Delaney, Clair and Paige Whitley; three step-grandsons, Michael Longo and wife Rachel, Nick and Trent Longo; a sister, Carolyn Doty and husband Bill of Forrest City; a brother, Ron Whitley of Melbourne, Fla.; a sister-in-law, Betty McCollum and husband Bill of Lenexa, Kan.; a brother-in-law, Robert White of Hot Springs; two nieces, Brooke Griffiths and husband John and Laura Stanion and husband Bob; three great-nephews; one great-niece; and many cousins and friends.
A memorial service for a life well lived is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, at First United Methodist Church in Benton with the Rev. David Jones and the Rev. Mark Norman officiating. The service will be followed by a reception in the Christian Life Center.
A private family burial will be held at Pinecrest Memorial Park. Pallbearers are Dr. Bob Ashby, Phil Daugherty, James Herzfeld, Kent Russ, Jim Sparks and Bob Tarver. Honorary pallbearers are: Roundtable Class, Benton/Bauxite Rotary Club, and Benton High School Class of 1958.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Ashby Funeral Home in Benton.
Memorials may be made to Benton First United Methodist Church, Boys & Girls Club of Saline County, Saline Memorial Hospice House or a charity of choice.
Online guest book: www.ashbyfuneralhome.com.
Family comments: Many thanks to the caregivers at Baptist Health Medical Center, Baptist Rehab, and Saline Memorial Hospice for their excellent care and concer