Robert Whitesell

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Daily Press
December 12, 1989


CHESAPEAKE – Robert Rudolph Whitesell, 79, brother of Virginia W. Mater and Irene W. Judkins, both of Hampton, died Sunday, Dec. 10, in his home.

A native of Staunton, Mr. Whitesell was a well-known athlete and musician in Newport News during the 1920s and 1930s.

He played three years of football and baseball at Newport News High School. In football, he was an All-State guard under coach Monk White and played both offense and defense. He was a left fielder on the baseball team. He attended Bluefield College for two years on a football scholarship.

Mr. Whitesell also played saxophone at hotels during the 1930s and early 1940s, including the Chamberlin in Hampton and the Cavalier in Virginia Beach.

He was a member of Columbia Typographical Union No. 101, Washington, D.C. He retired from employment with The Washington Post and also worked for The Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star of Norfolk. He was a Baptist.

Additional survivors include his wife, Mildred R. Whitesell; one daughter; one son; one brother; and three granddaughters.

A funeral will be conducted at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens, Suffolk, by Chaplain Dan Kirkpatrick. Burial will be in Meadow brook Memorial Gardens Mausoleum.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 tonight in Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth, and requests expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.

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