William Clayton Whaley, the fourteenth child of the late James Whaley and Elizabeth Judge Whaley was born on June 4, 1957 in Charleston, South Carolina. He accepted Christ at an early age at the Greater Mount Pisgah Baptist Church under the pastorate of the Late Reverend J. J. Maxwell. William matriculated through the Charleston Public School system and graduated from Charles A. Brown High School in June 1975 earning his High School Diploma. In May 1979, William received his B.A. Degree in Economics from Talladega College, in Talladega AL.
After graduating from Talladega College, he moved to Columbus, Indiana where he met the love of his life, the former Celestine Wilkinson. On New Year’s Day 1986, they were joined in holy matrimony at the Second Baptist Church in Columbus, Indiana.
After working a series of jobs as an inserter/mailroom clerk with the Charleston News & Courier (now The Post & Courier), Assistant Store Manager Godfather’s Pizza (Indianapolis, IN) and Teller at People’s Bank & Trust (Indianapolis, IN). William enlisted in the United States Navy in January 1985 and devoted 20 years of faithful service including tours of duty around the world which culminated in his honorable discharge and retirement in January 2005. He earned several awards during his naval career including, but not limited to: Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), Navy Unit Commendation, Navy “E” Ribbon (2), Good Conduct Medal (6), National Defense Service Medal (2), Armed Forces Service Medal, NATO Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4), and Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon. He also received a letter of commendation upon his retirement for outstanding performance of duty as the leading petty officer at Personnel Support Activity (PSA) Detachment at Naval Station Norfolk, from April 2003 to October 2004.
At the time of his passing, he was employed with the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites and Navy Exchange Service Command.
William took a role as an active member in his church community, preaching sermons from time to time and singing hymns/gospel tunes (including acapella) to his heart’s content. In his spare time, he would discuss the latest events in news/politics, cheer on his favorite sports teams, be found running along Hampton Boulevard and competing in numerous marathons. His other interests included History, Theatre, and Jazz. Most of all, he loved the Lord and his family.
Left to cherish his memories, he is survived by his wife of 37 years, Celestine Whaley, three children Elizabeth (Lexius) Whaley-Breny, Jessica Whaley, and Sarah Whaley. One granddaughter, Joy Breny. His siblings include: Mrs. Annette L. Brown, North Charleston, SC., Walter (Joyce) Whaley, Hanahan, SC., Catherine Rowlette, Denver, CO., Carl L. (Laverne) Whaley, Charleston, SC., Reverend Larry W. (Reverend Jeanette) Whaley, Goose Creek, SC., Deacon Henry J. (Emma) Whaley, North Charleston, SC., Deacon Isaiah K. (Brenda) Whaley, Goose Creek, SC., Anthony Whaley, Charleston, SC., Mrs. Joyce E. Williams, Philadelphia, PA., Mr. Michael A. Whaley, Salisbury, NC., Mrs. Shelia R. (Raymond) Seabrook, North Charleston, SC., Minister Jacqueline (Deacon Frank) Russell, and Reverend Vincent R. (Pastor Cynthia) Whaley, Proving Grounds, Maryland and a host of Nieces, Nephews, Cousins and Friends. He is predeceased by his Parents, the late James Whaley and Elizabeth Judge Whaley, his daughter Jasmine Whaley, his siblings Rodney Raymond Whaley, James Whaley, Jr., Helen Elizabeth Code, and Benjamin R. Whaley.
The family expresses its gratitude for the phone calls, texts, visits, cards, flowers and other expressions of love. The family requests that you continue to keep them in prayer for God to supply them with strength and comfort in the days to come. May God bless you.