Ronald E. Whitley passed peacefully from cancer on Sunday, June 2, 2024 at his home. He was raised in Hillsboro, IL by loving parents, R.G. and Millie Whitley who preceded him in death. He is survived by son, Sean Whitley; daughter, Shannon (Keller) Nigh; grandsons, Jude Bingaman and Luca Nigh; brothers, Dennis and Larry; nephews, Mitch, Reece, and Aaron Whitley; niece, Kristy (Brian) Paar; great nieces, Larissa Paar and Olivia Whitley and great nephew, Brady Paar.

After graduation from MacMurray College in 1970 he attended graduate school at the University of Missouri before entering the U.S. Army proudly serving from 6/71 – 6/73 where he was assigned as a researcher at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, DC. After graduating from the University of Illinois School of Medicine with AOA honors in 1977, he completed a general surgery residency at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA in 1982. He remained there as a faculty member in the General Surgery/Trauma Division until 1983 when he joined Surgical Associates of Richmond and practiced at Chippenham Medical Center and Johnston-Willis Hospital until 2002. While there he served as President of Surgical Associates of Richmond, Chief of Surgery at Chippenham Medical Center, and Chief of Trauma at both Chippenham and Johnston-Willis Hospitals.

After starting a family later in life, they relocated to Macomb, Illinois in 2002 where he joined Western Illinois Surgical Associates and practiced there until retirement in 2015. Throughout his 37-year career he felt privileged and blessed in the way patients put their blind trust in his hands and he derived immense satisfaction from caring for all his patients but especially pediatric and rural patients.

The return to his Illinois roots allowed him much more time with Shannon, Sean, nephews, and nieces. He coached T-ball, Little League, flag football, basketball and was able to attend many school and sports activities for Sean, Shannon, and nephews.

After retirement he volunteered as adjunct faculty at the SIU School of Medicine where he lectured medical students and taught surgical skills in a skills lab for students entering surgical specialties. In retirement he cherished his membership in West Side Christian Church and time with family and friends especially at their farm where they fished, hunted, swam, and rode ATV’s.

After a blessed personal and professional life filled with faith, amazing kids, a loving family, lifelong friends, and dedicated colleagues, he viewed his final years as a time to reflect and practice gratitude for all God’s blessings. His final hopes and prayers were that Sean, Shannon, Jude, Luca and the rest of his family and friends enjoy a spiritually enriched life benefiting them, their families, and others in need.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St.Memorial Service: 9:30 am, Friday, June 7, 2024 at Staab Funeral Home – Sherman. A burial will follow at Camp Butler National Cemetery with military honors being conducted.

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