Obituary: Dr. Charles “Clark” Willhite, DMD

Aug. 10, 1951 – Jan. 23, 2024

Dr. Charles Clark Willhite, DMD, (Clark to family and friends in Arkansas, Chuck to those outside of Arkansas), 72, of Sturgeon Bay, died in the loving arms of his family at home and awoke in the arms of the Lord, Tuesday evening, Jan. 23, 2024.

He was born Aug. 10, 1951 in Monroe, AR, the fifth child of George Lafayette Willhite and William “Billie” Fay (Bonds) Willhite. Clark attended Clarendon High School in Clarendon, Arkansas, where he was active in sports and other student activities. He was selected as Mr. Clarendon High School in 1969, the year he graduated. (Clark represented his graduating class as featured speaker at its 20th reunion in 1989.) He went on to study at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arizona where he earned a degree in zoology. 

Following college, Clark served two years as a lieutenant in the United States Army and was stationed in Mannheim, Germany. 

Upon his honorable discharge, he returned home to the United States and settled in Kentucky and began graduate work at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. It was here in 1978 that Clark met Marcia Trodahl, also beginning graduate studies, and they married on July 21, 1979 at Marcia’s home church (Faith Lutheran) in Lexington, Kentucky. Neither Clark nor Marcia finished their graduate work at Eastern!  In 1980, Chuck was accepted to University of Kentucky College of Dentistry in Lexington. He graduated in 1984 and served as president of his 4th year class. 

Following graduation from dental school, Chuck did a one-year General Practice Residency with the Veteran’s Administration at Hampton, Virginia. He began a career in dentistry with the Veteran’s Administration in 1985 as a staff dentist in Temple, Texas. During that time, Chuck led the establishment of the ”Christian Cupboard” at the First United Methodist Church, providing food and clothing to needy residents of the area. He received a VA community service award for this work. Chuck and Marcia welcomed their daughter, Hannah Caitlin, in 1991.

Later that year, they moved to Austin, Texas where Chuck was put in charge of opening a new dental clinic at the VA outpatient facility in Austin. 

In 1993, the Willhite family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska for Chuck to become Chief of Dental Service at the Lincoln VA Medical Center. While in Lincoln, Chuck took up the banjo and became proficient through taking lessons and attending Steve Hanson’s bluegrass camp in Long Pine, Nebraska every summer for 10 years. Chuck enjoyed playing bluegrass music with his brothers, Mike (mandolin) and Robin (guitar), whenever they got together. 

In 2001, the Willhites moved to Decatur, Illinois for Marcia’s job. He joined the family dentistry practice of Warren Jesek and the two men became close friends. 

In late 2007, Chuck decided to return to dental practice with the VA, first in North Little Rock, Arkansas and then in Danville, Illinois, while Marcia stayed in Decatur for Hannah to finish high school.

In 2010, Chuck retired from VA service and started up a new practice in Decatur, Lakeshore Denture Center. He retired altogether in 2016, and he and Marcia moved to Door County to the house they had built on Lake Michigan in 2013, in the Town of Clay Banks, just outside the City of Sturgeon Bay.

Chuck was a very loving, supportive husband and father (and PawPaw) who was known for his sense of humor. He was a willing assistant for projects his brothers or friends had going. Chuck regularly attended churches in the many communities he lived in, starting as a child in Monroe, AR. Chuck and Marcia were presently members of Lakeside Community Church in Algoma.

Chuck will be missed by his wife, Marcia; daughter, Hannah (Alex) Beery and granddaughter Gwen of Decatur,; siblings, Gail Hopkins of North Little Rock, Arkansas, Mike (Judy) Willhite of Cabot, Arkansas, and Robin Willhite (Becky Linz Lynn) of Heber Springs, Arkansas; sister-in-law, Susan Tyler of Port Charlotte, Florida; nieces and nephews, Larry’s children: Steve, Terry, Perry, and Scott, Glenda Fay’s children: Shannon Webb, Kim Wacker, Layna Leach, Julie Weatherley, and Brooks Leach, Gail’s children: John, April Owen, and Tammy Walther, Mike’s children: Michael, and Rebecca Ziebell, and Susan’s children: Kelly Zerfowski and Ryan Dorang; and other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Larry (Janet) Willhite and Glenda Fay (David) Leach; parents-in-law, Dr. John “Jack” and Irene (nee Nadeau) Trodahl; and other relatives.

Chuck’s life will be celebrated with a memorial service held at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in the Town of Sturgeon Bay, 2264 Shiloh Road, in June of 2024 – schedule to be announced. Burial will be in the church cemetery and also in Willhite Cemetery in Monroe, Arkansas.

Memorials may be given in Chuck’s name for Unity Hospice (2366 Oak Ridge Circle, De Pere, WI 54115).

“Our family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the staffs of Door County Medical Center and Unity Hospice for the wonderful and compassionate care given to Chuck.”

Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC in Sturgeon Bay, WI and Fowler Funeral Home in Brinkley, AR are assisting the Willhite family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Charles may be shared with his family through his tribute pages at or