ART'S COMPLETE BIO
September 6, 1951 - May 27, 2020
On Wednesday, May 27th 2020, the heart and soul of our family, Arthur Whitmore III peacefully took his last breath and went to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Art, lovingly known to many as Ray a nickname that was given to him by his father at an early age, or Cag if you went to school with him, left an impression on hundreds if not thousands of people. Ray was a bit of a city boy, born in Community Hospital of Norfolk County on September 6th 1951 to Alphonza Whitmore, Sr. and Dorothy Manley Whitmore. Nobody knew what a force and impact to the world baby Ray would be. Ray was number three of five children and at an early age showed an exceptional athletic ability excelling in all sports, especially football. Ray is a proud HBCU graduate and he attended Norfolk State University on a full athletic scholarship where he tore up the line playing offensive tackle proudly wearing the number 77 all four years. He also won the title of All American and Offensive Lineman of the Year for the state of Virginia in 1971. While on the yard at Norfolk State, two pivotal things happened in young Art’s life. He found both the love of his life, Evonne Holland and his love for his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Art was initiated into the Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. in May of 1972 where he his entire line was named “The Freedom Riders” and Art was the tail of the line bearing the line name of “Cag” privately meaning strength, tenacity, and leadership – all qualities that he exemplified until his final moments. Cag’s love for Kappa didn’t stop there, in 1981 he went on to become a charter member of the Chesapeake-Virginia Beach Alumni Chapter of the organization. When he moved to Georgia he became an active member of the Alpharetta/Smyrna, Georgia Alumni Chapter and a lifetime member of the fraternity.
Soon after pledging his lifelong commitment to his fraternity, Ray and his love, Evonne Holland, united in holy matrimony at justice of the peace Chesapeake, Va on May 26th 1974. Here began the young couple’s bustling careers and the beginning of their young family. Art lovingly supported his wife and travelled with her as she gained her footing as a journalist and educator. During this time Art started his career as both a mental health professional and entrepreneur and in the early 80s, and had two children Lathan Mckinley (Kinney) and Lauren-Rae, Von and Art were happily married for almost 40 years until Von passed away in 2011.
The entrepreneurial spirit was in Art’s blood coming from a long line of community business leaders. Ray quickly became known in the Chesapeake community as “the ice cream man.” He opened several successful businesses which allowed him to connect with so many people in and around the tidewater area. Rae-Bo’s Hot Dogs and Ice Cream evolved from trucks, to stands and into a full service restaurant and arcade. He often times would drive his truck into the projects and rough neighborhoods and would wind up counseling the young people that approached his window, even to this day those same people remember stories of the days of Rae-Bo the ice cream man.
It’s difficult to measure Art’s impact on the countless lives that he’s touched. His smile could be seen coming from a mile away and his genuine bear hugs let you know that no matter who you are, you are loved. He was a social advocate having worked in behavioral health as an addiction specialist and mental health therapist for over two decades. He was a youth advocate having owned and operated multiple group homes for displaced and abused girls and boys. He offered housing to homeless, he was a coach, a motivator, a listener and a friend. Art was a family man, dedicating everything he had to his wife, his children and his two youngest “best friends” his grandchildren, Jackson and Langston.
Art is survived by his children Lathan McKinley Whitmore and Lauren Rae Powers, Grandchildren Jackson Mckinley Powers (7) and Langston Ray Powers (4); Mother Dorothy Whitmore; Brother Alphonza Whitmore, Jr. and Sisters Angela Whitmore and Stacey Whitmore Horner; Nieces Raven Bell, Jalen Whitmore and Aaliyah Whitmore; Nephews Alphonza Whitmore, III, Joey Whitmore, Joey J. Whitmore and Brian Whitmore. He was preceded in death by his wife Evonne H. Whitmore and his sister Brenda Whitmore Smith.
In lieu of flowers his children ask that you make donations in honor of Arthur Whitmore to the Arthur Whitmore Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will be a book scholarship made available at all HBCU’s beginning the 2020 academic year. Please go to www.arthurwhitmorescholarship.com to make donations.
Recognition of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc: surviving members of the “Freedom Riders” Bruce Burwell, Ellsworth Mayfield, Leland Forbes and Willard Adams