Farming Rural 21

David Aiken Wheatly Sr.

May 26, 1948 ~ January 8, 2021 (age 72)


David Aiken Wheatly Sr. passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of January 8, 2021, at the age of 72. He was at his home in the Merrimon Community north of Beaufort, NC.

A graveside service will take place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Cemetery at 10 AM on Monday, January 11, 2021. Due to Covid-19, masks and social distancing will be required. The family asks those attending to please follow COVID protocol and respect the rights of others.

David was the second of four sons of Claud and Alice Wheatly. He and his brothers grew up in Beaufort and attended St. Paul's Episcopal Church. He attended the old Beaufort School. At East Carteret High School, he played and excelled in every sport offered. He was a member of the first class to graduate from East Carteret High School, which was in 1966. David attended The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina and was a member of Corps Alpha Company. There he also played sports and he graduated in 1970 with a degree in political science. David was in the US Army and served his country in Vietnam as a captain in the Heavy Boat Company. David spent his life working in Carteret County. He was president of Wheatly Oil Company, was owner and operator of several convenience stores, and was a contractor and constructed condominiums. David loved living on his farm in Merrimon, fishing and hunting, tending livestock and telling tales with friends. David was known as a hardworking man and a loyal friend. Some considered him to have a rough exterior but those who really knew him felt his huge heart and loving and giving spirit, especially when it came to children and older people in need.

Stories are and will continue to be told about "Big Dave" and his many adventures. During his life, he hunted all across the country and in Canada, tried out for a professional football team, competed in professional fights, had a live snake collection, competed in weight lifting events, captained the famous houseboat "The Robert E. Lee", and cooked more pots of stewed ducks, conchs, collards and "lima peas" then could ever be counted. David loved life.

David loved his family and was proud of his three children, and very happy they settled in Carteret County. He also loved his country and his God. He served as a Beaufort Town Commissioner and as a Carteret County Commissioner.

David is survived by his wife Tabbie Nance; his daughters, Virginia Cuthrell and husband Bobby and Molly Marsh and husband MJ; his son, David "Bubba" Wheatly Jr. and wife Laken; six grandchildren: Gage Wheatly, Adler Wheatly, Catherine Cuthrell, Rob Cuthrell, Mick Marsh and Wheatly Marsh; his brothers, Claud "Rob" Wheatly and wife Joyce and Ed "Eddie Bo" Wheatly and wife Sandra; his children's mother, Sylvia Wheatly; his devoted dogs Henry and Rose; and his favorite horse Delilah. David's constant companion of 14 years, Belle, passed away 12 hours before him.

David was predeceased by his father and mother, Claud and Alice Wheatly, and his brother, Jule Wheatly.

The family wishes to express their thanks for the compassionate care provided to him in his final months by Kelsey, Patricia, the staff at Carteret Health Care and the staff of 3HC. 

The family requests no flowers and instead suggests those wishing to remember David to do so by making a donation to the Carteret County Public School Foundation, 107 Safrit Drive, Beaufort, NC 28516, designated for the David Wheatly Scholarship to help East Carteret High School students interested in pursuing vocational certifications and entering the workforce in Carteret County.

Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at

Arrangements by Noe-Brooks Funeral Home, Morehead City, NC.


Graveside Service
January 11, 2021

10:00 AM
St Paul's Episcopal Church
215 Ann Street
Beaufort, NC 28516

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