Robert Isaiah Whitehurst, 96, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, February 13, 2021 after a brief illness. Robert was born on February 23, 1924 in Akron, Ohio to the late Isaiah and Viola Whitehurst. Once the family moved to Canton, Ohio, Robert graduated from McKinley Senior High School and then continued his education at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama.
In 1942, Robert enlisted in the United States Navy and was a World War II Veteran. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned home to Canton. He was employed by the Ford Motor Company and retired after 30 years of service.
Robert was a well-known carpenter in Stark County. As CEO of Ebony Construction, Robert’s craftmanship can be seen in several residential homes, churches and other buildings. Of all the things he made, he was most proud of his 21-foot boat. Due to the years it took for him to complete this project he had affectionately become known as “Noah”.
Robert accepted Christ at an early age and was a longtime member of Peoples Baptist Church. He was a very active member of several houses of Masonry including the Hiram Abiff Lodge No. 72 of Canton for over 50 years; Al Kaf 109 of Akron OH; Bezaleel Consistory of Cleveland and Golgotha Commandery No. 36 of Akron, OH. Most notably, Robert was a 33rd Degree Mason of The United Supreme Council - Levi Henry Morris Class of 1991.
Robert was an avid reader and a lover of history. He was blessed to live to see the first Black President of the United States elected, as well as the first Black female Vice President of the United States. He loved Black literature, especially books on Blacks that served in World War II like himself. Being a lover of history, he took much time to gather information on his family heritage and created a picture book of his family going back to his grandparents. Being the family historian, Robert was never without his camera at family functions and has a spectacular collection of family photos.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Isaiah and Viola Whitehurst, wife Rebecca Whitehurst, son Steve Whitehurst, brother Bill Whitehurst, sisters Inez Capitol, Lois Whitehurst, Juanita Young, Jean Owens and Mary Fisher and step-son John “Bo” Bell. He leaves to cherish his memory daughters Robin Whitehurst of Columbus, OH; Renee Biggums and Kimberly (Tomier) Davenport of Canton; son Scott Whitehurst of Canton; brothers Paul (Virgie) Whitehurst, David (Carol) Whitehurst and Alvin Whitehurst all of Canton; grandchildren – Candice Biggums of Akron, OH; Samara Biggums, Tomier Davenport II and Alexandria Davenport all of Canton; Euzhan Shabazz and Alek Shabazz of Columbus, OH; two great-grandchildren Isaiah Harris and Braden Henderson of Akron, OH; several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends including Harvey Walker and Roland Johnson and bonus children Shawn Whitehurst, Otis “Perry” Bell, Debbie Tate, William “Tim” Tate, Karen Tate, Gail Tate and Kelly Ball.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, February 19, 2021 from 6pm – 8pm. The funeral will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2021 beginning at 10am with a calling hour at 9am. Due to the COVID pandemic masks and social distancing precautions are MANDATORY. The funeral service will be livestreamed via YouTube at https://youtu.be/rRuAV_X03AQ or on the True Light Christian Ministries Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TLCMinistriesCantonOhio/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel.
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