James Eugene Whatley Sr., 85, of Orange, passed away Friday, October 25, 2013 in Beaumont.

Born on August 26, 1928 in North Carrollton, Mississippi to his parents, George Washington Whatley and Bessie Frances (Weeks) Whatley, he lived in Orange since 1962, he worked in the construction industry as a boilermaker and was a veteran of the U. S. Army during the Korean War, where he received a Bronze Star.  During his time in the Korean War, James managed to secure weapons which later helped to save his entire platoon; this action made James a true war hero which helped in the advance of the American cause.

James was of the Church of Christ faith, he enjoyed writing songs and singing for family and friends. He will be remembered by many as a man who always was ready to lend a helping hand when needed; he enjoyed fixing things, playing card games and spending time with his family.  His children have fondly spoken of how he loved each one of them very much.

James is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ruby Whatley; his four brothers, Jay Whatley, Leslie Whatley, Dean Whatley and Holman Whatley; one sister, Frances Adams; his son, Clinton Whatley; his grandson, Scott Benjamin Sankowich his great-grandson, Hayden Granger and the mother of his children, Clara Casiano.

James is survived by his daughters, Brenda Robinson of Houston, Lisa Marsiglia and husband, Michael of Beaumont and Susan Sankowich of Lincolnton, North Carolina; his sons, James Eugene Whatley, II, and Guy Mitchell Whatley both of Orange; his stepson, Bill Blanchard and wife, Mary Helen of Mandeville, Louisiana; his brother, Herschel Ray Whatley and wife, Juanita of Monroe, Louisiana; thirteen grandchildren, John Bradley Granger, Eric C. Robinson, Sabrina C. Robinson, Andrew V. Marsiglia, Samuel A. Marsiglia, Samantha E. Marsiglia, Elizabeth J. Marsiglia, Alexander N. Sankowich, III, James L. Sankowich, Steven J. Sankowich, Kory Blanchard, Dane Blanchard and Anna Boles; fourteen great-grandchildren, Trinity, Alyssia, Olivia, Mia, Zoe, Azeral, Konner, Pierce, Dominique, Beau, Rowan, Grant, Evan, Aiden and one on the way in addition to numerous extended family.

Services to honor James’s life will be at 2:00 P. M.Monday, October 28, 2013 in the Chapel of Dorman Funeral Home in Orange. Officiating will be Reverend Brad Bickham. A gathering of James’s family and friends will be from 5:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. Sunday at the funeral home.  Military Honors and Interment will follow services where he will be laid to rest next to his wife at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens near Bridge City.  Family and friends may sign the register and leave condolences for the family at www.dormanfuneralhome.com.