Sidney Lanier Whitley

Published 9:41 am Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Sidney Lanier Whitley, age 85, passed away Friday, February 23, 2018. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Picayune, Mississippi.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. The service will follow at 2 p.m. under the direction of McDonald Funeral Home.

Reverend Harold Manning will officiate. Burial will be later at Fort Payne, Alabama.

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A native of Odenville, Alabama, he graduated from Jacksonville State University in 1951. Soon after graduation, he served as an Army officer, including a tour in Korea. After completion of his military service, he taught high school physics and chemistry for a short period.

In 1958, Sid began his federal civil service career at Eglin Air Force Base. In 1963, he transferred to NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and in 1971, accepted a position at the Earth Resources Laboratory at the Mississippi Test Facility (now Stennis Space Center). He retired as the Deputy Director of the NASA Science and Technology Laboratory in 1990.

Sid served as President of the Board of Directors of Crosby Memorial Hospital and also of the Southern Regional Corporation. Later he became the Chief Executive Officer of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation and served until his death.

Sid was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Picayune and taught the Underwood sunday school class for over 45 years. For a number of years, he was a member of the Rotary Club of Poplarville.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Glen and Jayne Newton Whitley, his sister and brother-in-law, Geraldine and Elmon Thompson and two nephews, Charles Thompson and Rev. Robin Thompson.

Left to cherish his memory are his loving and devoted wife of 55 years, Dottie Whitley, and his daughters Julie and Karen Whitley. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 148, Picayune, Mississippi 39466.