September 18, 1949 ~ January 28, 2022
Born in: Waynesville, NC
Resided in: Asheville, NC
The Reverend William Allen Whisenhunt died peacefully at home on January 28, 2022. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry Eugene and Louise Moody Whisenhunt and his brother, Harry Fredrick Whisenhunt. He leaves behind as witness to his love, his wife of 51 years, Nancy; his daughter Laura and her husband, Marc; his grandsons, Alex and Hunter, all of whom gave him much happiness. He is also survived by his brother, James Daniel Whisenhunt and his wife MeAnn of Charleston, SC and his sister, Ann Whisenhunt and her spouse Sarah Carawan of Asheville, NC.
Bill was born in Waynesville, NC on September 18, 1949 and then moved with his family to Hickory, NC in 1964. He graduated in 1971 from Lenoir Rhyne University. After earning a Master of Divinity degree from the School of Theology, University of the South in 1985, he began his life service to the Episcopal Church as rector of the Church of the Epiphany, Newton NC. In 1991, he moved to Asheville, NC to serve as Canon to the Ordinary of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina with The Rt. Rev. Robert Johnson and as priest in charge of St. Matthias Episcopal Church. He began serving as rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Asheville, NC in 1999 and retired in 2010. In 2012 he was presented with the Dubose Award for Service at the School of Theology, University of the South, Sewanee, TN.
In retirement his time was spent enjoying sailing on Lake Julian and sharing time with his family, especially his grandsons. Bill was a man of warmth and humor. You could always count on him for a hug when needed. We are grateful for his life with us and we rejoice that he has gone to God.
A service to celebrate Bill’s life will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church (60 Church Street, Asheville, NC) at 11 am on Saturday, February 5. Face masks are required and the service will be streamed live on the church website (www.trinityasheville.org). Bill’s family will greet friends at the church in Tuton Hall following the service.
In lieu of flowers, gifts of remembrance may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church.
Groce Funeral Home’s Lake Julian team is assisting the family and a guest register is available online via Bill’s obituary page at www.grocefuneralhome.com.
Memorial Service: February 5, 2022 11:00 am
Trinity Episcopal Church
60 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Reception: February 5, 2022 12:00 pm
Trinity Episcopal Church
60 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Funeral Home Assisting The Family:
Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704
Charlie knew Bill when they were kids in Waynesville. I had the privilege of meeting him, Nancy, and Laura when they moved to Asheville. Our hearts are broken for your family and for the many who knew Bill as priest and, more importantly, friend. He was larger than life. And those hugs, yes. He will be missed. May God’s strength carry all of you forward and bring peace. The memories of Bill and the love he nurtured sustain you. Holding you in our hearts – Ann and Charlie Howell
So very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family
John and I were saddened to read that Bill had died. John and Bill were fraternity brothers at LR. Louise and my Mom were neighbors for years. We send love and prayers to all his family.
My sincerest condolences, Nancy. My love and prayers for you and your family.
So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. He was a good friend and classmate. Leigh and I have many happy memories of our time together in Sewanee.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and many friends.
Big smiles and a warm presence you could count on, you’re in our thoughts and hearts.
Chip, Sarah, Charlotte & Hunter Howell
My condolences to Bill’s family, especially Nancy and Ann, with his passing.
Our high school years in Hickory – or was that Camelot – were such fun, very special. Bill, Ann and family lived just up the street from me, at the intersection with 9th Street. I remember some wonderful conversations in their kitchen, day or night, we had with their mother, who cared about all of Bill and Ann’s friends.
In the movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Matt Damon’s character says to Charlize Theron’s character – But it was such a long time ago. She responds – No, it was just a moment ago.
Those times are gone, but not their memories. God Bless, Bill.
Nancy, Ann, Kids, grandkids and family,
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of you as you grieve the loss of your loved one. I grieve along with you the loss of a longtime friend with whom I was able to reconnect nearly twenty-five years after we graduated high school. It was then when I discovered the path that God had shown Bill for his life. That “memory moment” went something like this.
Bill or “pancho” as we affectionately called him, became a dear high school friend. We met during our first year at Hickory High School. He had just moved to Hickory from Waynesville and I from Charlotte. At first, we bemoaned the fact that we had been uprooted by our families. However, those high school years in our new city became filled with great memories a lot of which Bill and I shared together.
His family always treated me like one of them even though they were most likely aware of some of my/our shenanigans. In 1991 we literally bumped into each other in Newton. We were home on our first stateside from overseas and staying in a house on College St. I went out for a run one day and when I was doing my cool down I saw this guy that I know and I couldn’t believe it. Once the shock wore off I asked what he did for a living and he told me he was a priest. He asked me the same question and I told him I was also in the ministry. Shock and awe! It was a blessing to renew that connection and to able to meet Nancy. Over the next twenty-five years or so we met up two or three times when we were back in the states. Grateful for his friendship and I’ll miss him! Saddened by our loss but finding hope and comfort in the fact that we’ll “bump” into him again.
Prayers for Nancy, Ann and the rest of the family that I did not have the opportunity to meet.
To Bill’s family and friends-
We may have lost the physical – but the memories will always be there for us to cherish. I’ll always remember the, as Mark put it, Camelot days that we spent in Hickory. May God keep you, Nancy and the family, strong.
Love to you all,
Clay & Sherry Zorn