Michael “Mickey” Leon Whaley, 50, of La Grange passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at home. He was born on January 14, 1969 to Leon Whaley and the late Rosalind Whaley also of La Grange. Mickey was a 1987 graduate of North Lenoir High School, attended Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC where he played football. Mickey transferred to East Carolina University, graduating in 1993, with a Bachelor of Science degree and was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. He would then follow his dreams of becoming a race car driver.
Mickey continued to race for many years and was an active member of The National Hot Rod Association Circuit. Mickey won 5 national events in 14 final rounds (1997 Atlanta, 1998 Atlanta, 2008 Reading, 2006 Gainesville and 2011 Atlanta). He also won 11 Lucas Oil Series point meets in 16 finals and was a finalist in Stock, Super Comp and Top Dragster during his racing career. He was an exceptional athlete; he enjoyed all sports and had a love for golf.
Mickey was a loving husband, father, son, brother and friend to all. Mickey was one of a kind while never meeting a stranger. His energy and enthusiasm paired with his infectious smile would light up the room. Mickey will be remembered for his dynamic personality and his enormous heart. He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Mary Crews Whaley, his son Crews Michael Whaley, father Leon Whaley, brother Doug Whaley and wife Shannon, grandmother, Dorothy Burkett Whaley, nephews Malachi, Little Doug and Camden Whaley along with his special family members and an immense amount of friends.
A celebration of life will be held Sunday, June 30, 2019 at Tanglewood Church of God in Kinston, NC at 3:00 pm with visitation to follow. Interment will be July 01, 2019 at 10:00 am at Pinelawn Memorial Park. As an expression of sympathy, a memorial fund has been established. Monetary donations may be mailed to First Citizens Bank, PO Box 459 Grifton, NC 28530 made payable to Mickey Whaley Memorial Fund in Honor of Crews M. Whaley.