Rose Drewry Whitehead

Published 10:22 am Monday, August 21, 2023

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SMITHFIELD – Rose Drewry Whitehead passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023 at the age of 96. Rose was the daughter of the late Clinton McKinley and Harriet Drewry. Born in Sedley, Virginia, Rose lived most of her life in Smithfield and retired from retail sales in 2002. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 25 years Clayton Francis (Toady) Whitehead; sisters, Mary Lankford, Pearl Darden and Lois Edwards; brother, C.M. Drewry Jr; nieces, Diane W. Horne, Angela and Laura Drewry; a nephew, Paul Lankford and a grandson, Andy Adkins.

Rose Drewry Whitehead

Left to cherish her memory are her son, Wendell C. Whitehead; daughters, Donna W. Baker (Brant) and Lynette W. Ross (David); grandchildren, Ashley Adkins, Scott Baker and Erin Ross; known as “G.G.” by her great-grandsons, Brady Adkins and Connor Adkins. She is also survived by her older sister, Eunice Blythe, youngest brother, Elliott Drewry and a host of nieces and nephews. Mom’s independent spirit and desire to “just do what needed to be done” was an inspiration to all of us and the catch phrase for the family was “I want to be like Rose when I am 96.”

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, Aug. 24, at 11 a.m. at Littles Funeral Home in Smithfield, with burial to follow in St. Luke’s Memorial Park. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to CHKD, Department of Pediatric Cardiology c/o Dr. Chris Foley, P.O. Box 2156, Norfolk, VA 23501. Online condolences may be registered at