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Bonnie Dee Whitehead 1927-2015

Bonnie Dee Whitehead, 87, of Brenham, the widow of former TAB Chairman Tom S. Whitehead, Jr., died Thursday, June 4, 2015 at her residence in Brenham.

Mrs. Whitehead was born in Somerville, Texas on October 29, 1927 to Hope and Olga Kettrick Thomas.  She graduated from Somerville High School and Blinn College before attending the University of Texas.  A staunch Fightin’ Texas Aggie fan, it must have pained her greatly that A&M did not allow female students in those days.  During her time at Blinn College, she was forced to ride to an Aggie game with a Tea-sip named Tommy Whitehead, whom she later married on May 23, 1953.  They survived and enjoyed 51 years of Turkey Day games together until his death in 2004.

Mrs. Whitehead’s early career was spent teaching in a one room schoolhouse in Wesley.  Later she joined the staff at the family’s radio station, KWHI.  As the station’s Music Director, she was known for using a pair of scissors to scratch out the “B” side of 45 records of which she did not approve.  Along with her family, she helped own and operate the Brenham Banner Press, KWHI-AM, KWHI-FM (now KTEX 106.1), and TV Cable of Brenham (now Suddenlink Cable).

An avid outdoorsman, Mrs. Whitehead enjoyed family vacations in a station wagon pulling a popup camper to Big Bend, Yellowstone, Estes Park and countless other places.  She loved to hike mountains, and could out fish and out hunt every member of the family.  Once she caught two trout from a stream with her bare hands, highly impressing her sons.

Mrs. Whitehead’s true passion was golf, where she also could beat every family member.  She loved playing golf with her girlfriends, and enjoying a cold beer or scotch after the round.  Birthday lunches with girlfriends also brought her much joy.

Education was very important to Mrs. Whitehead and her late husband.  Together, they helped send not only family members, but many others to college educations.  Through her support, her ten grandchildren also have that opportunity.  She always encouraged them to study hard, or face the “Somerville Treatment” should they make a bad grade.

Mrs. Whitehead is survived by sons and daughters-in-law Tom Dee and Melissa Montgomery Whitehead of Brenham, Mark Kerley and Heidi Hofmann Whitehead of Brenham, and Robert Clyde and Kym Ambelang Whitehead of Austin; grandchildren Frank, Ellen, Hunter, Kaitlin and Seoul Whitehead, James, Stephanie, Jesse and Jack Baker, and Jordyn Baker Foust; and great grandchildren Levi and L.J. Baker.  She is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law Lynn and Elo Junek Sr.  Mrs. Whitehead was preceded in death by her husband, Tom Simmons Whitehead Jr., and her sister, Ruby Kathryn Thomas Swenson.

Serving as pallbearers for today’s funeral will be Frank and Hunter Whitehead, James, Jesse and Jack Baker, and Michael Watts.  Honorary pallbearers are Teddy Boehm, Twila Tate, Judy Smith, Tammy Metzger, Marcena O’Malley, Demaris Koziol and Gloria Smith. The Whitehead family would also like to thank her special caregivers over the past nine months, Gloria Smith, Mary McCullough, Lela Schwartz and Rosie Carmack.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Hospice Brazos Valley and the First Christian Church of Brenham.  Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 W. Main St., in Brenham.  To post a tribute to the family, visit

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