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Reverend Richard Ray Whiteheart, 86, of Hayes, passed into the loving arms of his savior at his residence early Sunday morning, June 25, 2023. Born in Winston- Salem, N.C., he was the son of the late Richard N. and Martha (Thompson) Whiteheart. He was the husband of Linda (Thompson) Whiteheart, with whom he shared 62 happy years.

Richard was a graduate of Griffith High School in Winston-Salem, N.C. He went on to serve in the United States Air Force, stationed in Wyoming. While serving in the military, Richard rededicated his life to the Lord. He felt God calling him into full-time ministry. He left Wake Forest and began attending Mars Hill Bible College, where he met Linda and finished his degree at Piedmont Bible College. After graduating from, he attended Luther Rice Seminary, where he got his Master of Arts in Counseling.

Richard’s faith was a foundational part of his life, and serving the Lord was a lifestyle for him. He was pastor at many different Baptist churches in North Carolina. He also was the principal of Southview Christian School for a few years and worked for a few years in admissions at Piedmont Bible College in Winston-Salem. After his “retirement” from full-time ministry, he moved to Hayes to be closer to his children and became the visitation pastor at Union Baptist Church.
Richard was an avid listener to talk radio and the Bible Broadcasting Network. He was also an avid sports fan, especially his Washington Redskins, Wake Forest Demon Deacons and UNC Tarheels. He and Linda loved to travel; whether it was traveling to his mother’s beach house on Oak Island, N.C., or joining one of his children and their families on vacation, it didn’t matter. They also spent many years traveling and watching their children and grandchildren in various sports and other competitions.

Richard was known by many names, but his favorites were Dad and Pap. He will be greatly missed by his three children, Deborah L. Habecker, wife of Mark, of Elizabethtown, Penn., Richard “Dwayne” D. Whiteheart, husband of Kelly, of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Dana M. Lyon, wife of Dale, of Hayes; his six grandchildren, Lauren Ellis (Jimmy), Chad Habecker (Elizabeth), Zachary Lyon (Mariah), Jacklyn Tate (Koda), Eric Habecker, Cassidy Lyon; four great-grandchildren, Cohen Ellis, Renee Habecker, Able Tate, Elijah Habecker.

In addition to his parents, Richard was predeceased by his sister, Joan Whiteheart, and a granddaughter, Tracy Renee Habecker.

A celebration of Richard’s life will take place at Union Baptist Church, 9254 Guinea Road, Hayes, on Friday, June 30, 2023, at 4 p.m. A Livestream of the service can be viewed at A viewing will take place at Hogg Funeral Home, 3098 George Washington Memorial Hwy., Hayes, Va. 23072, on Thursday, June 29, 2023, from 6- 7:30 p.m. A burial will take place at Forsyth Memorial Park, 771 Yadkinville Road, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27106, on Saturday, July 1, 2023, at 2 p.m. In memory of Richard, contributions may be made to Gideons International, mailed to The Gideons International Processing Center, P.O. Box 97251, Washington, D.C. 20090-7251.

Services under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home.


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