Fresno businessman Bill Whitehurst, who died in 2012 at age 89, is being remembered Friday by a state lawmaker and other dignitaries at a highway memorial dedication near Madera.
State Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, will help celebrate Whitehurst's legacy by officially dedicating a portion of Highway 152 to the funeral home magnate at 11 a.m.
Lawmakers passed a resolution this year that honored Whitehurst and called for the dedication. The ceremony will be held at the CRU Wine Company.
As a businessman, Whitehurst built a funeral home empire across California. In public service, he was a member of the California Highway Commission and stayed active on several boards and groups, including the Boy Scouts and the Fresno Arts Center.
While Whitehurst served on the Highway Commission in the 1960s, he spearheaded a move to revamp Route 152, which was then a dangerous two-lane road informally known as "blood alley" because of its high number of traffic accidents.
According to the resolution, he was also a World War II veteran and received a prestigious award from Pope John Paul II in 1989 for his involvement in his Roman Catholic church and community.