A celebration of life service for Danny Randall Wilhite, of Copperas Cove, will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 6 at the home of his son, Dustin Wilhite, 103 Manning Drive, Copperas Cove.

A private family burial will be at a later date at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery.

Mr. Wilhite died Aug. 23, 2014, peacefully at home with his family by his side. He was born Aug. 20, 1944, in Belton to June L. Wilhite and Lillian D. Hunt.

He graduated from Belton High School, and on Aug. 24, 1962, he married his high school sweetheart, Dixie Ann Darossett. They were married for almost 52 years.

He served proudly in Vietnam, and was awarded many decorations and awards to include two Purple Hearts.

After the military, he was self-employed in the construction business for over 30 years. He was an active lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8577, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and Military Order of the Cooties.

He loved children and was the Santa for VFW Post 8577 and the special-needs children in the area. He enjoyed being around people and friends, and was always joking, laughing and telling many a long tale.

Many of his high school buddies visited him regularly over the years and especially in his last month here on this earth. He loved his buddies very much, A.C. Ray of Belton, Larry Baggerly of Belton, John Bob Chaffin of Belton and Jerry Wallace of Euless. They brought many good memories and stories to tell every time they got together.

We would like to thank Gentiva Hospice and VA Home Health for all the help and care they gave him. If it wasn’t for them, we would not have been able to get through all of these past months. We also want to thank Lorie, Linda and Steffan for helping care for him during the day the past couple of weeks. It means a lot to us, and we cannot thank you enough.

Mr. Wilhite was preceded in death by his father, June L. Wilhite; his sisters, June Doris Wilhite and Betty Sue Speaker; and his brother, Victor Paul Wilhite.

Survivors include his wife, Dixie Wilhite; son, Dustin Wilhite and his partner, Justin Conover; grandchildren, Aiden Conover-Wilhite and Katherine Conover-Wilhite; mother, Lillian Wilhite of Belton; sister, Sandra Watson of Lake Horn, Miss.; brother-in-law, Leonard Speaker of Bullard; brother-in-law, Larry Watson of Lake Horn, Miss.; Perry and Mariellen Speaker of Bullard; John Speaker of Bullard; Lorie Watson of Fort Worth; numerous nieces and nephews; and his beloved pets who kept him company, Pedro, Molly and Daisy.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.support.woundedwarriorproject.org or P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.

Affordable Burial & Cremation Service in Killeen is in charge of arrangements. Offer condolences at www.centraltexascremation.com.

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