Rose Drewry Whitehead

Published 2:57 pm Monday, August 21, 2023

Rose Drewry Whitehead passed away unexpectedly on Friday, August 18, 2023 at the age of 96. Rose was the daughter of the late Clinton McKinley and Harriet Drewry. Born in Sedley, Virginia, Rose lived most of her life in Smithfield and retired from retail sales in 2002. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 25 years Clayton Francis (Toady) Whitehead; sisters, Mary Lankford, Pearl Darden and Lois Edwards; brother, C. M. Drewry Jr; nieces, Diane W. Horne, Angela and Laura Drewry; a nephew, Paul Lankford; and a grandson, Andy Adkins. Left to cherish her memory are her son, Wendell C. Whitehead; daughters, Donna W. Baker (Brant) and Lynette W. Ross (David); grandchildren, Ashley Adkins, Scott Baker and Erin Ross; known as “G. G.” by her great-grandsons, Brady Adkins and Connor Adkins. She is also survived by her older sister Eunice Blythe, youngest brother, Elliott Drewry and a host of nieces and nephews. Mom’s independent spirit and desire to “just do what needed to be done” was an inspiration to all of us and the catch phrase for the family was “I want to be like Rose when I am 96”. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, August 24, 2023, 11 a.m. at Littles Funeral Home, Smithfield, with burial to follow in St. Luke’s Memorial Park. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to CHKD, Department of Pediatric Cardiology c/o Dr. Chris Foley, P O Box 2156, Norfolk, VA 23501. Online condolences may be registered at

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