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Ms. Canary Jane Whitfield was born on January 18, 1948, in Candler County, Georgia, to Ozzie and Mattie Page Whitfield. She entered eternal rest on Friday, January 19, 2024, at Grace Gardens Assisted Living in Metter, Georgia. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Clarence Whitfield and Arthur Whitfield; and sister, Ruthie Mae Whitfield Byrd Burnett.
Canary was a 1966 graduate of William James High School, Statesboro, Georgia. She played on the varsity basketball team where she was famous for her left hook. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in education from Albany State College now Albany State University. She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She received a Master of Education degree from Cambridge University.
For 36 years she was employed by the Candler County Board of Education, Metter, Georgia, as a kindergarten and 1st grade teacher. Because of her exceptional work with young children, in 1992, Canary was the recipient of the Milken Foundation Award. She was also recognized by WTOC as teacher of the week. For many years she served as Youth Advisor for the NAACP. Canary was also a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant.
At an early age, she joined Treemount Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Metter, Georgia. For more than fifty years, Canary was a faithful and active member of her church. Her service there included choir membership, director of the youth department and most recently, serving on the Mother Board. Her inspiring presence impacted the lives of her students, colleagues and her community.
She leaves to cherish fond memories one sister, Ms. Amy W. Henry of Metter, GA; one brother, Mr. Grady Whitfield (Ms. Frances) of Decatur, GA; a special niece, Mrs. Karen H. Mountain (Jimmie) of Swainsboro, GA; one sister-in-law, Ms. Henrietta G. Whitfield of Statesboro, GA; a great nephew and great niece whom she cared for as her own, Ashton Scott and Miracle Byrd both of Warner Robins, GA; nieces, Mrs. Sandra W. Wright (Clarence) of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Ms. Marchette Byrd of Warner Robins, GA, Ms. Deyonna Whitfield of Atlanta, GA, Ms. Veronica Whitfield and Karen Whitfield of Statesboro, GA; nephews, Mr. Bryant Henry of Metter, GA, Mr. Curtis Byrd (Dr. Aree) and Mr. Ryan Burnett of Warner Robins, GA; two special great nephews, Mr. Joshua Byrd and Mr. Damien Byrd of Fayetteville, NC; a devoted cousin, Ms. Mamie W. Humphries of Statesboro, GA; a devoted caretaker, Ms. Sharon M. Edwards of Metter, GA; devoted friends, Mrs. Ruby Kennedy, Mrs. Faye West, Ms. Eddie Dean Allen, Ms. Barbara Redding, Dr. Felecia Eason Forbes, and Deacon Sammie and Lugreta Lawrence; her lifelong friend, Mr. Henry Wallace of Charleston, SC; a host of other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
The Staff of Whitaker Funeral Home is honored to support and serve the Whitfield family with Dignity, Respect and Integrity.
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