The Community Remembering Charles Whitehead

PANAMA CITY- Most people knew Charles Whitehead from his business ventures, particularly, cook-whitehead ford.

Whitehead was a co-owner, then owner of the highly successful local dealership.

"I mean he could sell a car. If you even thought you that you needed one, he'd have you riding in one in 5 minutes," said George Wyman, AutoNation employee.

Whitehead sold the lot to AutoNation a few years ago, but still had an office there up until recently.

He was just as well known for his political career, not as an office holder by as a Democratic Party supporter.

"From a political point of view, I really respect Charlie whitehead because he's an effective businessman, he was someone who gave money, but he was somebody who came from humble beginnings and didn't really forget it," said Alvin Peters, Peters & Scoon attorney.

Whitehead worked on many high-profile elections, including both Jimmy Carter's presidential campaigns.

He was the head of the Florida Democratic Party in the 1980's.

"He was one of those great southern democrats who understood that everybody needed a chance," said Peters.

But there was another side to Whitehead that few people heard about his charity work.

He was instrumental in building the Glenwood Community Center in 2000.

"As a real estate broker, I had a listing down in the Glenwood area and it was an old club building. And Charlie called me and said, 'Smitty, what you going for that building? They need, Glenwood needs a community center. And I said, 'this is for 80-thousand dollars," said George smith, broker.

Whitehead’s also contributed large sums to the Wewahitchka Public Library which now bears his names.

"The community is losing a very good and philanthropic person. He would do anything for you. I’m sad because I not only lost a client, I lost a good friend," said Fotula Slaugter, hairstylist.

The family will received visitors at Kent Forest Lawn Chapel from 1:30 to 3 p.m. this Friday, with the funeral service beginning at 3:00.