Moses Wheatley

Sunrise: August 9, 1934

Sunset: December 29, 2020

The life of Moses Wheatley embraces that of a great, wise and wonderful man.  Moses was born on August 9, 1934, in Winnsboro, Louisiana to the late Jefferson Davis Wheatley and Bernice Robinson.  He was brought up to be “respectful, hardworking, friendly, and strong” – weakness and laziness were not permitted in the no-nonsense world of Moses youth.  As a young man he was an excellent athlete, who at 6 feet 4 inches excelled at basketball and football.  He attended Franklin Parrish Training School in Winnsboro, LA where he was the star of the High School basketball team.  After graduating from High School, he attended Grambling State College for one year before enlisting in the US Army.  Moses loved the Lord and was a faithful member of Garden of Prayer #3 COGIC.

Moses was a retired Army veteran, who had done multiple tours of duty in Vietnam and Europe.  He rose to the rank of Master Sergeant in the US Army.  He served 25 years in the US Army before retiring on June 30, 1979.  He then went to work for the Norfolk Naval Base Supply Center as a Stevedore Supervisor.  He retired from the Norfolk Naval Base in 2000.  Retirement was not a real word for Moses.  In fact, during his spare time he refereed for over 50 years with various organizations such as SEFOA – Southeastern Football Officials Association, TSOA – Tidewater Sports Officials Association, and EOA – Eastern Officials Association until his retirement in 2018, due to his declining health.  Anyone who officiated with him would say he was one of the most well liked officials.  He was well respected by the coaches, players but most important his fellow officials.  As was said many times, Moses was one of the good guys.

Moses was also a Master Mason affiliated with the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia, Free & Accepted Masons, Inc. organization.  He was a faithful member of Progressive Lodge #80 in Norfolk, VA for 47 years where he was initiated, passed and raised on June 15, 1973.  He served as Worshipful Master of the Lodge from 1982 to 1983 and thereafter, served as a Past Master.  He provided loving support, bestowed knowledge, wisdom and understanding to his fellow brethren’s.

As a proud, loving and diligent husband and father, Moses believed in the importance of marriage and family.  So much so he was married twice.  His first marriage was to Mildred V. Saunders, during their union they had three loving children: Kevin Sr., Jeffrey, and Wanda.  Prior to his marriage to Mildred he fathered two beautiful children: Moses Jr., and Carolyn both deceased.  Much later in life he was blessed to have his youngest child: Rynita.

Moses first wife Mildred passed in 1988.  His second wife Gussie also passed in 2013.  Moses was a family man.  He enjoyed being married to both his wives and accepted all his stepchildren as his own.  Moses leaves behind a multitude of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren, all of whom he loved very much.

Moses loved all sports, but football was his favorite.  Anyone who knew him knew he was an avid “Dallas Cowboys fan,” so much so, that one would think that he was invested in the team financially.  He also loved to eat, and a good meal was something he looked forward to especially with family and friends during the holidays and at the family cookouts and reunions.  He really enjoyed outdoor activities like gardening, fishing and crabbing.  He was the fish fry master.  It was not a cookout without Moses delicious fried fish.

As a whole, Moses was an extraordinary man, a man whose wisdom, knowledge, experiences and accomplishments put him in a very rare category – he was a king amongst men – whose humility, dignity, and class would not allow him to boast about himself.  After a long and eventful life, Moses breathed his last breath and peacefully passed away on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, at Sentara Leigh Hospital.  This world has truly lost a giant.

He was preceded in death by his parents Bernice Robinson and Jefferson Davis Wheatley; his first wife Mildred V. Wheatley, a 2nd Wife Gussie L., a son Moses Wheatley Jr., and a daughter, Carolyn Rita Pin; four brothers, Arthur C. Dent, Johnnie Dent, Saul O’Steen, Jr, and Phillip O’Steen.

He leaves behind his endearing children: Kevin, Sr. (Melody) Wheatley of Springfield, VA, Jeffrey (Janice) Wheatley of Norfolk, VA, Wanda Wheatley of Cottage City, MD, Rynita Wheatley of Norfolk, VA, Raymond Brown of Chesapeake, VA, Kelvin C. Rollins of Houston, TX, Beverly Rollins of Winnsboro, LA, Johnson (Neina) Rollins of Texas, Delphyne Rollins of Heyward, CA, Angela Rollins-McCoy (Peter) of Houston, TX, Katherine Graham-Smith (Eric) of Chesapeake, VA.; a son-in-law; Marcel Pin of Marennes, France.  Also surviving are:  his last Aunt Zettie Mae Robinson of Winnsboro, LA; his sisters, Gussie O’Steen of Buffalo, NY, Mae Ollie (Winston) Grant of Lockport, NY, and Dories (Lionel) French of Waterbury, CN, his sisters-in-law Ruth Dent of North Canton, OH, Elsie O’Steen of Port Arthur, TX, 25 Grandchildren, 54 Great-Grandchild, 6 Great Great-Grandchildren, a host of many loving nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Those wishing to send condolences may do so at Metropolitan Funeral Home – 7246 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23505


Bernice Robinson and Jefferson Davis Wheatley (Both deceased)

 Siblings (Brothers and Sisters):

Author C. Dent (Deceased)

Johnnie D. Dent (Deceased)

Saul O’Steen Jr. (Deceased)

Phillip O’Steen (Deceased)

Gussie O’Steen

Mae Ollie Grant

Dories French

Wives: Both Deceased

1st Mildred V. Saunders – 12 Feb 1988 (Deceased)

2nd Gussie L. Rollins – 26 Nov 2013 (Deceased)

He married the late Mildred V. Saunders of Norfolk, VA in January 1961. They were married for 27 years.  Later, he married the late, Gussie L. Rollins, June 1992 of Winnsboro, LA.  They were married for 21 years.

 Biological Children (6):

Moses Jr. (deceased)

Carolyn (deceased)

Kevin, Sr.




 Stepchildren (7):

Raymond Brown

Kelvin C. Rollins

Diane Rollins

Johnson Rollins

Delphyne Rollins

Angels Rollins-McCoy

Katherine Graham-Smith

Viewing Monday, January 11, 2021 10:00am- 1:30pm Metropolitan Funeral Service 7246 Granby Street Norfolk, VA 23505 Service WATCH SERVICE LIVE ONLINE Monday, January 11, 2021 1:30pm Metropolitan Funeral Service Granby Chapel Interment Roosevelt Memorial Park 1101 Campostella Road Chesapeake, VA 23220 The family is following the CDC and State of Virginia guidelines for funeral attendance

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  1. reply
    Cynthia Witherspoon says

    The best man I’ve ever known my daughters father so deeply missing him

    • reply
      Lois Powell-Jordan says

      To “God be the Glory “for all that he has done. I know Grand -ma Reather and Grand Paw Joe Wheatley, uncle J.D. (Jefferson Davis) Uncle Jim, Aunt Francis ,Aunt Alice Aunt Cindy and Aunt Edith welcome him with open Arms in “Heaven” just as they always did in life . Yes Moses stood as a Giant and he was blessed to have Roots that spread far beyound
      most of them that new him.To his family, hold to Gods unchanging hands. PLEASE EXCEPT OUR HEART FELT CONDOLENCES .Your Winnsboro, La. family.

  2. reply
    Vernon Aunchman says

    Moses was a dear friend of mind for over 45 years. Morse and I worked for Naval Supply Center and then officiated for Eastern Officials Association. Morse will be missed by many of us. Rest in Peace my brother:
    Vern Aunchman (friend/EOA rep.).

  3. reply
    Charles Mayer says

    Moses was a good friend. We officiated football together for a number of years. Not only did he know the rules, he was well respected by the coaches, players but most important his fellow officials. As was said, Moses was one of the good guys who left this world a better place..

  4. reply
    Barbara Skarupa says

    Moses was the most gentle of a man, that I had the pleasure of knowing while officiating basketball and softball. I always got excited when I got to work with him. At pregame we would talk about food! I remember giving him a fish recipe that he tried, and was so excited to tell me how good it was. I love you Moses!

  5. reply
    Robert Roeser Eastern Officials Secretary says

    Eastern Officials Association has lost a gentle giant of a
    man. Moses was awarded “Lifetime” membership for his
    dedication and service to sports. We are so very sorry for
    your loss and wish you peace during this sorrowful time.

  6. reply
    Robyna Rogers says

    Uncle Moses, was a kind and gentle man full of joy and laughter. He treated me and made me feel like family. Although our time was brief I truly feel like I knew him for a life time. It was a pleasure to know him and to love him. Uncle Moses will truly be missed.

  7. reply
    Fannie Beckem says

    My deepest condolences to Rynita Wheatly and family. I will continue to pray for comfort and peace for you and your entire family.

  8. reply
    Deacon Patricia Page says

    Please accept my sympathy Wanda Wheatley and family. I love you and stand ready to assist.

  9. reply
    Donald J Lee says

    I had the pleasure of working with Moses from 1980 until last year. In all the games we worked I never once saw Moses “lose his cool”. He was a real gentlemen and it was a pleasure knowing and working with me. May God comfort you and bless you.

  10. reply
    LaTonia Batts says

    Wanda, Janice and the entire Wheatley family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Wanda, I met your father only 1 time, years ago, but that 1 time I can remember. You and he reminds me of me and my father…. a very tight bond. From that I pray that you can draw strength. I love you all. Forever friends,

    • reply
      Judith Henderson says

      My condolences to the family of Mr. Moses Wheatley. While working at NOB, I considered him to be “The Gentle Quiet Giant With A Kind Smile.” Sweet dreams “Gentle Giant.”

  11. reply
    J Otis Harris Jr says

    My condolences & prayers to Kevin Wheatley & family. May the Lord above, embrace you in his arms during this time of bereavement. ??❤️
    Classmate VSU

    • reply
      Judith Henderson says

      My condolences to the family of Mr. Moses Wheatley. While working at NOB, I considered him to be “The Gentle Quiet Giant With A Kind Smile.” Sweet dreams “Gentle Giant.”

  12. reply
    Dories French says

    To the Wheatley,
    We are terribly sorry to hear of the passing of your dear father.
    Moses was my big brother as I always referred to him. His smile was radiant. We will miss him, but the memories will live on in our hearts. We love all of you and we’re praying for you.
    From his Baby Sister Dories and the French Family???

  13. reply
    Faneisha Bray says

    Wonderful man and father to my sister Rynita and his children. I thank God that I had an opportunity to know you and spend time with him in the past. You will be missed deeply. I love you.

    • reply

      My deepest condolences and prayers to the family for their loss.

      With Prayers,
      Curtis Newkirk

  14. reply
    Debra Walker says

    I am saddened by the passing of my father-in-law. He was a very good person with a wonderful big smile. I pray for his children that they will be comforted during this time. Rest in Heaven!

  15. reply
    Geiger Family says

    While walking through this difficult time may you know that the Lord walks with you and He will comfort you. You and your family are in our prayers and thoughts as you grieve this difficult time.

  16. reply
    Harvey R Lee Sr, MSG, US Army Ret says

    To the family of Mr. Wheatley. I am sorry to hear of his passing today 11 Jan 2021. Mr. Wheatley was a mentor to me back when I lived on Brooklville Rd two house down. When I left the military in 1988 he was one of the people that encourage me to reenter. I did and I retired in 2003. I was also a Prince Hall Mason and he and I had several conversations about that. I retired in Northern VA and had not seen him in a long time. I am grateful for his guidance and always respected him and a professional and an upstanding leader of our community. RIP Sir and may God bless your family in this hour of bereavement. Bro Lee

  17. reply
    Zettie Gilmore Dorsey (Sister) says

    Our hearts are really saddened. We will dearly miss the phone calls, cards and most important
    the visits. We always looked forward to his hometown trips to see us. We cherished every moment listening to stories of old times. To the children and family there we are part of the Louisiana family. He was my first cousin and we have one aunt left that he loved dearly so know we share this loss with y’all. We will continue to pray for each other with love and compassion. ❤️❤️

  18. reply
    Gary Butler says

    Moses was a gentle giant.He will be greatly missed on the ball fields by all. Prayers for his family. Rest in peace my friend.

  19. reply
    Cookie Miller says

    You are a very dear friend who will be greatly missed. God Bless You and May you rest in Peace.

  20. reply
    Judith Henderson says

    My condolences to the family of Mr. Moses Wheatley. While working at NOB, I considered him to be “The Gentle Quiet Giant With A Kind Smile.” Sweet dreams “Gentle Giant.”

  21. reply
    Lauren B. says

    You will truely be missed and always loved I had the pleasure of being in your presence you only a few times it will forever be cherished and the love that radiates from you will live on.rest easy and if you see my brother I’m sure yall would have lots of interesting convos?

  22. reply
    Dicie, Cecil, and Family says

    So sorry we couldn’t be there with you but know that our love and prayers go out to all of you. tried watching service but service is down. may the Lord continue to bless and keep all of you. We pray God’s comfort and strength, be with all of you doing this time.

    Love You All

  23. reply
    Bessie Robinson Hollins says

    On behalf of his Aunt Zettie Robinson and myself Cousin you will truly be missed RIP to you my family ❤️

  24. reply
    Bertha Lockett and Johnnie Joseph says

    The family in Baton Rouge, La
    Will always cherish the times we had the privilege to have him visit us. Every time he was here he always took pictures so he could share them with his family when he returned home. We deeply share in this great loss and will always carry him in our hearts. We are his first cousins and our families sends Much Love, continued Blessings, Comfort and Strength at this time and always ❤️❤️❤️

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