Lonnie Whitt remembered as man who served

CJ-0730-OBIT-WhittHOUSTON – Those who knew Lonnie Whitt remember him as a man who served his church, community and others.

Whitt, 76, owner of Houston Monument Company, a former city alderman, county supervisor and basketball referee, died Saturday night after a bout with cancer.

His funeral was at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Houston First Baptist Church.

Those who knew Whitt commented on his leadership and desire to serve others. Many knew him as a many who would help them financially or emotionally in a time of need.

“He was one of the best supervisors this county ever had,” said former Chickasaw County Chancery Clerk David Thomas. “He looked to the future and was very intelligent and business-minded.”

Whitt served on the Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors from 1992 to 2004.

Thomas said Whitt also served two terms as President of the Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors.

“He was a leader who worked hard to keep that board together,” said Thomas. “He was also organized and kept meetings moving.”

Judge Woodrow Brand served as Mayor of Houston with Alderman Whitt.

“I don’t think Lonnie ever had a selfish though when he served the city,” said Brand. “If it was good for Houston, he supported it and worked to make it happen.”

Whitt served as Houston Aldermen two terms in the early 1960s. He also ran unopposed and was elected in a special election to fill an unexpired term.

Whitt was also known as a leader in his church.

“He was one of the best churchman I have ever known,” said Dr. Daniel Heeringa, pastor of Houston First Baptist Church. “He was a born leader and had generosity beyond measure. He also had genuine compassion for others and a desire to serve his Lord and minister to the needs of others.”

Former coach Larry Arrington said Whitt was a legend among high school referees for more than 20 years.

“He and Adolph Davis ran the show and were great referees,” said Arrington. “Lonnie loved sports and would do anything to help a kid.”

John Lee Lyles said Lonnie Whitt was his mentor and friend.

“He was a great example to me and he had such a big heart,” said Lyles. “He had a Christian spirit and there is no telling how many people he helped in this town over the years. I know that, because I was one of them.”

Whitt was a member of the Three Rivers Board of Planning and Development and was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour to the Board of Directors of Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District.

Whitt married the former Bonnie Martin on Oct. 16, 1954. He is survived by his wife; daughters, Melodie Wilkinson of Houston and Hollie Read of Dallas, Texas; and number of grandchildren.

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