Carl Whitley, 85, of Concord transitioned to his heavenly home on Friday, May 9 at Big Bend Hospice, Tallahassee. Born July 7, 1928 in Townley, Alabama, he discovered the love of music at an early age. At age 9, he sold his bicycle to purchase his first guitar and within six weeks was playing on a local radio show in Birmingham. He retired from the US Air Force as a Staff Sergeant, 4228 Combat Defense Squad, SAC Headquarters. While in the Air Force, he was able to play music all over the world. His real passion in life was music, and after his military service, his musical talents led to a storied career as back-up guitarist to numerous well-known county western music legends. He sang and played guitar for many summers in the Macinaw Music Show in Macinaw City, Michigan and entertained at various clubs throughout the United States. A gifted musician, he leaves a lasting legacy of love and appreciation for music to his children and grandchildren. His musical gifts live on in them. He was an active member of Victory Assembly of God Church in Concord.
He is survived by Rosemary, his best friend and devoted wife of 57 years, four sons (Ricky, Cary, Keith and Joe Whitley) and two daughters (Carla Whitley and Leilani Marsh), sister (Patsy Stotts) , brother (Robert Whitley), six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren, as well as a host of other relatives, friends and fellow musicians. Faith Funeral Home in Havana, Fl. is in charge of arrangements (850.539.4300 or www.faithfuneralhome.com).