The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


April 30, 2014

Marcus Whitfield

— Retired U.S. Army Colonel Marcus Leon Whitfield was born the eldest son of George R. Whitfield and Effie Stamper Whitfield in Gadsden.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, Hulan Whitfield and Ralph Whitfield.

Survivors include his wife June Robertson Whitfield of Elkmont; sons, Marcus “Mark” A. Whitfield of Louisville, Ky., and Brian M. Whitfield of Huntsville; daughter Debra “Debi” D. Morgan of Cheney, 
Wash.; and stepson, Gary R. Thacker of Athens. He had six grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

He obtained a bachelor's degree in civil engineering at the University of Alabama where he served the Army ROTC as a cadet lieutenant colonel. He completed his master's degree in mechanical engineering at University of Illinois. He continued his studies at Vanderbilt University and North Carolina State University. He completed post-graduate studies at Southeastern Institute of Technology. He was a licensed professional engineer holding credentials in Texas and Alabama.

Col. Whitfield joined the military at a young age and served in the U.S. Army with distinction as an active duty officer, reserve officer, and as a civil service employee for most of his professional career. During his career, Col. Whitfield served in numerous foreign and domestic military stations including Germany, Okinawa, Eniwetok, Washington, D.C., among many others.

Early in his military career, Col. Whitfield served in Germany assisting with the post World War II reconstruction and subsequently performed nuclear blast effects research and analysis for the atomic bomb testing activities at Eniwetok where he personally witnessed the nuclear test events.

Following his departure from active duty military service, Col. Whitfield served the U.S. Army Strategic Missile Defense Command (USA-SMDC) and its predecessor agencies as a civilian employee. He was known for his advocacy of and technical contributions to the now-common Non-Nuclear Hit-to-Kill missile defense interceptor technology development, and his expertise in missile propulsion. Following his retirement from civil service, he 
formed Whitfield Enterprises Inc., performing engineering consultation for PAC-3 and Patriot missile development and testing activities.

In his personal life, Col. Whitfield was an avid golfer and a loyal fan of Alabama football and devoted his post-retirement time to restoring vintage sports cars.

Visitation for Col. Whitfield will be 6-8 p.m. Friday, May 2, at Limestone Chapel Funeral Home.

Col. Whitfield will be buried with his beloved parents at Mountain View Park Cemetery in Marietta, Ga.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Sign the online guestbook at

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