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Longtime Bibb County educator W.C. Whitley dies

Whitley served as high school principal and Macon city councilman simultaneously.
MACON, Georgia  (41NBC/WMGT) – A longtime educator and former Macon City Councilman recently died.

Wallace Claxton Whitley, known to many as Dr. W.C. Whitley passed away Sunday, at the Goodwill Rehab facility in Macon.

Dr. Whitley was born Jan. 15, 1925 in Benton, Georgia and spent the last seventy years in Macon.

He married  Ann Alexander on  Aug., 14, 1947, and the couple had four children, Terry Whitley, Nicki Whitley (preceded him in death), Nina Whitley Talon, and Heather Whitley Sumowski.

“He had just turned 89, this year,” said his daughter Nina Whitley Talon.

Dr. Whitley served as principal of Dudley M. Hughes High school, a  vocational school, which was formerly known as Lanier High School. He was principal there from the late 60's until the school closed.

“He was a really great guy and he wanted everybody to have the opportunity to succeed,” continued Talon.

Dr. Whitley served as principal of Southwest High School during integration and co-ed movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Alfred R. Willingham High School for Boys, the adjacent Margaret McEvoy High School for Girls, and nearby all-black Ballard-Hudson High School merged, and eventually rose to national prominence under the leadership of complex principals W. C. Whitley and Gloria Washington.

Dr. Whitley retired form the Bibb County Board of Education as principal of Bibb County Alternative School, and simultaneously served as a MaconCity Council member.

“When he was elected to city council he wanted to use a nearby former “all white” park as a playground for students at Bibb County Alternative School,” added Talon. " He help make that happen."

Dr. Whitley served on the Macon City Council for more than two decades.

Ed DeFoe, 82, said he recalls Dr.Whitley as a mentor.

“I didn't know anything about politics, but I wanted to do what was right for people,” said DeFoe. “When I went down there I was green, Dr. Whitley took me under his wings and he showed me the way.” 

Dr. Whitley was a member of the local Shriners Club, and belong to the Masonic Lodge. He was a member of the National Association of Educators, and assisted with the Boys Club and the Boys Scouts.

Funeral arrangements for Dr. Whitley includes visitation, which is scheduled to be held Wednesday at Snows Chapel located at 3077 Pio Nono Ave, in Macon, from 6 p.m., until 8 p.m. A Graveside Funeral Service is scheduled to be held Thursday at 11 a.m., inside  Macon Memorial Park, located at 3969 Mercer University Drive in Macon.
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