Kathleen Savoy Whitehead

Published 12:01 am Sunday, December 29, 2019

June 29, 1929 – Dec. 25, 2019


VIDALIA— Services for Kathleen Savoy Whitehead, 90, of Vidalia, who died peacefully Christmas morning, Dec. 25, 2019, at the Deerfield Nursing Center in Delhi, Louisiana, will be 11 a.m. Monday at the Vidalia Presbyterian Church, 301 Spruce St., in Vidalia, with the Rev. Tony Ganey officiating.

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Burial will follow at the historic Natchez City Cemetery, 2 Cemetery Road in Natchez, under the direction of Comer Funeral Home in Ferriday.

Visitation will be observed from 9 a.m. until service time Monday at the church.

A lifelong resident of Vidalia, Kitty-Lou, as she was affectionately called, was born June 29, 1929, in Plaquemine, Louisiana, the oldest daughter of Captain Gilbert Julien and Mamie Etta Savoy.

Kathleen graduated from Vidalia high school in 1946 and subsequently attended Spencer’s Business College in Baton Rouge, receiving an associate degree in accounting. In the fall of 1948, Kathleen met the love of her life, George W. Whitehead “GW” on a blind date. Following a whirlwind romance, they were married six months later on Good Friday, April 15, 1949. They first lived in Natchez, then briefly in Morgan City and Houma, Louisiana, eventually settling permanently in Vidalia. Along with her sweetheart, GW, they began an entrepreneurial partnership over the years, operating businesses such as Whitehead’s Grocery, a Montgomery Ward Catalog store, rental properties and eventually a ServiceMaster franchise in the Miss-Lou area. To this day, Kathleen is remembered by friends and family for her quick wit and business prowess.

Mrs. Whitehead was also known for her strong commitment to the preservation of the Old Town of Vidalia. Forming a small group of historic preservationists in 1977, Kathleen was instrumental in securing The Sheriff Campbell House on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to her many accomplishments, Kathleen and GW were most proud of their children, Claudia, Amy and Web. Always with a high interest in education, Kathleen took a lead role in their lives assisting each of them to successfully graduate from college.

Before the onset of her illness, Mrs. Whitehead was an active member of the Vidalia Presbyterian Church, serving at times as Elder, clerk of session, and the publishing of Sunday bulletin. Kathleen proudly served in her community as past member of the Civitan Club, the Salvation Army and the Musical Arts League of Natchez. Before the death of her father and husband, Kathleen enjoyed the surroundings of her large family and gatherings. Rarely was a time where she was not hosting a family/friends gathering or attending a family party at her parents or sibling’s houses. One of her favorite pastimes was to sit and sing along with her brothers, nephews and nieces during such family functions.

Mrs. Whitehead was preceded in death by her sweetheart of almost 42 years, George W. Whitehead; her parents, Mamie Etta and Gilbert ‘Jimmy’ Savoy; two brothers, Gilbert Savoy Jr. and Clyde J. Savoy; three nephews, Robert Luttrell of Texas, Glen W. Hall of Brandon and Danny Savoy of Vidalia.

Kathleen is survived by her siblings, Etta Lee Bryan of Baker, Louisiana, and Curtis C. Savoy of Ferriday; three children, Claudia Morgan of Delhi, Amy Heirtzler of Olive Branch, and George “Web” Whitehead of San Antonio, Texas; five grandchildren, Alicia Hughes of Little Rock, Arkansas, Amy Byrne of St. Louis, Missouri, Jake Heirtzler of Memphis, Tennessee, Haley Lonidier of Olive Branch, and Will Heirtzler of New Orleans; six great-grandchildren, Lucie and Henry Hughes of Little Rock, Arkansas, Beatice “Bea” and Francis Byrne of St. Louis, and Hudson, Evelyn and Clark Lonidier of Olive Branch; and a number of nieces, nephews, and plenty of cousins.