Murray Ray Whisenhunt, Sr.

May 12, 2013

Devoted Husband and Father

WAYNESVILLE — Murray Ray “Bud” Whisenhunt, Sr., 88, passed away on Friday, May 10, 2013 at MedWest Haywood.

A native of Swannanoa, he was the son of the late Walter and Ethel Roberts Whisenhunt.  Bud was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II having earned the rank of Sergeant and was also a recipient of the Purple Heart.

He graduated from NC State University and was employed in Ashe County in 1950 as its County Agent and accepted the position of Superintendent at the Research Station in Waynesville in 1954. In 1963, Bud became Plant Manager of Smokey Mountain Fertilizer Company (Kaiser/Vigoro Industries) where he worked until his retirement.  Bud was a member and past president of the Waynesville Lion’s Club and was honored by the NC Lion’s Foundation with the Jack Stickley Fellow Award in 2001–2002 and the Melvin Jones Fellow Award in 2007–2008 for dedicated humanitarian services. He was also an active member of Hazelwood Presbyterian Church where he served as an Elder and a Deacon and was a member of the church choir.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Edith Summerrow Whisenhunt; two sons, Murray Ray Whisenhunt, Jr. and his wife, Sharon, of Asheville and Mark Norwood Whisenhunt of Greenville, South Carolina; two daughters, Karen Owen and her husband, Bill, of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania; Laura Koob and her husband, Michael, of Arden; two sisters, Katherine Duvall of Waynesville and Alice Falls of Fairborn, Ohio; and 10 grandchildren, Kaitlin, Caroline, Emily, and Nathan Owen, Jacob, Philip, and Heather Koob, and Katherine, Meredith, and John Walter Whisenhunt.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at Hazelwood Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Patrick Womack officiating. Burial will follow at Green Hill Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers will be Bill Alsbrook, Gary Roberts, David Ratcliffe, Jacob Koob, Philip Koob, and Nathan Owen. The family will receive friends from noon until 2 p.m. prior to services at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hazelwood Presbyterian Church Mission Funds, P.O. Box 67, Hazelwood, NC  28738.

Wells Funeral Homes & Cremation Services of Waynesville is in charge of arrangements.  An online memorial register is available at