Edward Whonic, 62, of Dahlonega, Georgia suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage on April 10, 2018 at approximately 4 a.m. while assisting the University of North Georgia NCAA precision air rifle team at the Junior Olympics in Colorado. He later passed at Penrose-St. Francis Medical Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado on April 16, 2018 at 10:45 a.m.
Edward Whonic, born December 5, 1955 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, was a pillar of strength and wisdom for his family and community. He was the youngest son of Stanley Harrison and Winifred Theresa Whonic. Edward was accepted to North Georgia College, and joined the Corps of Cadets in the fall of 1973. He was a brother of the Sigma Nu fraternity and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Physics in 1977. Immediately following his graduation, he completed Officers’ Training School in Texas for the United States Air Force and his first assignment was to Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. He served his country on deployments in Europe, Asia, and throughout the United States, including the Pentagon in Washington D.C. in the course of his duties. He was accepted to the Florida Institute of Technology and completed a Master of Science in Systems Management in March 1986. Over the course of his extensive career in the United States Air Force as both a nuclear scientist, physicist, and acquisition manager, Edward was involved with and managed projects such as the Joint Surveillance Target Radar System (JSTARS), airborne ground surveillance and control aircraft program in Bedford, Massachusetts, and Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), a system designed to grant smart capabilities to unguided bombs. He served August 1990 until June 1995 in support of Operations Desert Shield/Storm. His decoration, medals, badges, citations, and campaign ribbons included: Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon. He retired from the United States Air Force in 1995, and subsequently worked as a project manager for many years in the private sector. Edward had a passion for education and as a teacher he gifted his extensive knowledge and experience to both North Georgia College & State University and local high schools. He was involved with the Lumpkin County High School precision air rifle team and dedicated his time to the development of the community’s youth. He was an assistant coach for the University of North Georgia’s NCAA precision air rifle team, including national championships in 2017 and 2018, five undefeated senior military championships, three consecutive state championships, and annually coached UNG collegiate athletes at the Junior Olympics in Colorado Springs. Edward is survived by his wife of 39 years, Gail Dowis Whonic. He also leaves behind two daughters: Lee Ashley Whonic of Dahlonega, Georgia and Kelly Mae Whonic alongside her husband Jacob Sullivan of Marietta, Georgia.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, 2018 at Dahlonega Baptist Church with Rev. Bill Hutcheson officiating. Burial will be held on Monday, April 30th in the Clifton Cemetery in Lyons, Georgia at 5:00 p.m. The family will receive friends on Friday, April 27th from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at Dahlonega Funeral Home.