Robert Eugene Whatley

December 8, 1935 ~ October 3, 2020 (age 84)


Robert Eugene Whatley passed away Saturday, October 3rd, 2020. While it wasn’t the blaze of glory he anticipated, he was with family he cherished as he peacefully slipped away.

Bob was born in Corpus Christi on December 8, 1935, to J.B. and Avanelle Houston Whatley, sandwiched between his sister, Jamye and his brother, Richard. He grew up on the family farm west of Odem. Bob graduated from Sinton High School and headed to Texas A&M University and returned to South Texas to graduate from Texas A&I in Kingsville. Bob did not immediately start farming; after his military service he worked as a chemist for Suntide before returning to the farm.

While students at A&I, Bob met Emma Kathleen Cramer of Harlingen, Texas. Despite Bob taking Kay to Joe Cotton’s BBQ in Robstown for their first date and having to eat on paper, they were married in 1959. Once married, Bob and Kay helped raise Kay’s siblings, Ruth, Susan, & Lee.

Bob was active in the farming community, serving on numerous boards including Smith Gin, Valco, and Planter’s Co-op, where he was Chairman for over twenty years.

Bob enjoyed hunting, and the mounts in his home are testimony to his travels and his trophies. Whether it was a hunt for big game in Canada, or sitting in the blind in South Texas with his grandchildren, Bob loved his time in pursuit.

Another joy for Bob was travel. He and Kay enjoyed vacations with friends and family. Many of their trips were with Bob as the pilot flying around the country in his Cessnas.

While Bob lived a large life, there were three things he loved in particular. He loved supporting his children and grandchildren no matter the activity; he loved talking to people; and he loved sharing meals with friends and family.

Bob demonstrated his love for his family best by showing up. He avidly followed his kids and his grandkids no matter the activity – from football games to halftime performances; from cheer competitions to volleyball tournaments; from Little League fields to playoff runs; from San Patricio A&H Queen’s contests to every single species’ shows at the stock show -  Bob was there to support two generations of his family.

Bob never once met a stranger, and loved visiting with all in his vicinity. He truly enjoyed talking to people and made quick friends with people of all ages.

Bob was always up for a bite to eat, and welcomed all at his table. One of his love languages was food, and he was at his happiest sitting around a full table sharing a meal.

Bob went by many names, and depending on when you met him, you may have called him Bobby, Robert, Bob, Daddy, or Bob-Bob. We all know that the latter title was his favorite.

Bob is survived by his wife, Kay and their three children, Janna (Trey) Williams, Roberta (Scott) Mengers, and Jon (Kelly) Whatley. Left with a smaller cheering section are his grandchildren, Gus (Cheyenne) Mengers, Trent Williams, Chloe Mengers, Payne Whatley, Jillian Williams, and Jackson Whatley as well as his great-grandson, Allen Mengers. Bob is also survived by his sister, Jamye Pressly, and his brother, Richard Whatley along with nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Pall bearers are Gus Mengers, Trent Williams, Payne Whatley, Jackson Whatley, Bayne Horne, Steven Hightower, Elliot Pressly, and Jason Whatley. Honorary pall bearers are Denise Stansbury, Leigh Ann Ray, Sheri James, Danny Beyer, Ernie Lane, Don Horne, Bob Hoelscher, Martin Cruz, and Raymond Hernandez.

The family would like to thank Isabel Valencia for all her love and care. We also appreciate Edna Garza’s care for Bob at the end of his life.

Family and friends are welcome to visit the Whatley family Wednesday, October 7th, from 5 PM - 7 PM at Bob’s lifelong church, First United Methodist Church, Odem. A Graveside Service will be at Evergreen Cemetery Thursday, October 8, at 10:00 AM. Due to social distancing, a Celebration of Life will be at Grace United Methodist Church at 2:30 PM on October 8 (14521 Northwest Blvd., Calallen). The family wishes you to attend any and all portions in the manner that makes you comfortable.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bob can be made to the Live N Leap Foundation ( or any charity of your choice.

Guestbook available online at

Arrangements and care entrusted to Resthaven Funeral Home, Sinton.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Eugene Whatley, please visit our floral store.


October 7, 2020

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
First United Methodist Church - Odem
1301 Haisley Ave
Odem, TX 77370

Graveside Service
October 8, 2020

10:00 AM
Evergreen Cemetery-Odem
Co Rd 1568 at US 77
Odem, TX 78370

Celebration of Life
October 8, 2020

2:30 PM
Grace United Methodist Church
14521 Northwest Blvd
Corpus Christi, TX 78410

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