Sarah “Ginger” Whitley


Mrs. Sarah Virginia “Ginger” Whitley, 68, resident of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, slipped peacefully away from this life and into the arms of the Lord on March 24, 2024. Ginger was born on Oct. 1, 1955, a daughter of the late James Elisha Bateman and the late Olive Elaine Swindell, and was raised in Sandbridge with her five siblings.

Ginger moved to the Virginia Beach oceanfront and met the love of her life, Woodrow “Butch” Whitley, at the age of 17. It was love at first sight for the two young teenagers. Ginger and Butch enjoyed 40 beautiful years of marriage, happily raising their four amazing daughters by the beach: Virginia Dare, Summer Marie, Annabelle Elaine, and Angel Rose.

Ginger began her career at age 18 working in the mailroom for the City of Virginia Beach Treasurer’s Office. After working her way up the department’s ladder for 35 years, she retired early as the Virginia Beach City deputy treasurer in 2009. During her career, she created the database program for the Virginia state income tax system. Ginger was the seventh employee to be inducted into the 1987 Virginia Beach City Employee Hall of Fame. Once retired, Ginger spent time writing award-winning poetry and started her own website, “Poems on Demand.”

After losing her husband and best friend, she realigned her stars and moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. There she found her dream home, the Gingerbread Manor.

Ginger grew bountiful gardens, raised all types of farm animals, and she was truly living her life to the fullest. She will be remembered for her kindness, sense of humor, and all-around love for life. She adored her children and treasured the moments with her grandchildren: Skylar, Jackson, and C.J., from Virginia, and Bethany, Harper, and Rose “Rosebud,” from Angel. Ginger was a dedicated wife, loving mother, the best ‘Nana’, and a loyal friend.

Ginger is survived by her siblings, Rose Harrill, Venus Cleanthes, Issac Bateman, and James Bateman Jr. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Woodrow “Butch” Whitley, and sister, Victoria Franklin. Ginger will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

A funeral service for Ginger Whitley will be held Wednesday, April 10, 2024, at 1 p.m., at the Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 1404 Pacific Ave., Virginia Beach, VA 23451, to celebrate her wonderful life and to share precious memories.

“Happiness, health, wisdom, and wealth! If you have the first three, you’ve got the fourth!” — Ginger Whitley.

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements are by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.

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