George Houston White passed away peacefully in Rusk, Texas on May 3, 2019 at the age of 106.
Son of Anthony Calvin White and Effie Lorene Dunn White, Houston was born in Colorado City, Texas on January 12, 1913. Houston grew up in a family of 4 brothers and two sisters. He was born on land his grandfather purchased from the Texas & Pacific Railway in 1902.
The family farming interest turned to tomato growing and in the early 1920's his family moved to the Jacksonville, Texas area where they engaged in the booming tomato industry.
Upon graduation from Jacksonville High School, Houston attended Jacksonville Baptist College, graduating in 1936. One of his cherished collegiate achievements was being a member of the Jacksonville College Jaguars 1936 state championship basketball team.
During World War II Houston served in the US Navy based in Jacksonville, Florida.
In 1947, he became a merchant via The Rusk Hotel and Coffee Shop on the downtown business square in Rusk.
His second career was with the State of Texas as Admissions Director for the Rusk State Hospital from which he retired in 1978.
His deep faith led him to the First Baptist Church of Rusk serving for many years as a Sunday School teacher and Deacon.
Houston's civic interests were varied and numerous. With other like-minded associates he was one of twenty charter members of the Rusk Rotary Club founded in 1948. During 1969-70, he served as Rotary District Governor for District 591 covering 30 clubs in East and Southeast Texas. In 2017 Houston was honored by the dedication of the Houston White Rotary Pavilion in Rusk.
As City Councilman, he continued to give back to his community. He also served a term as President of The Rusk Chamber of Commerce. Serving several times as Grand Marshall of the Rusk July Fourth Parade on the town square, he was able to again honor his state and his country.
Houston was predeceased by two outstanding wives, Katherine Dorris White and Freddye Banks Dear White. He is survived by his only son, George and wife Anne of Houston,Texas, grandson Christopher White and wife Jennifer Rook White of Austin, great granddaughters, Katherine and Elizabeth, sisters Lorene Bergen of Fort Worth and Bess McLeod of Keller, Texas, and numerous nieces, nephews and their offspring.
Visitation will be held 5:30-7:30 on Friday, May 10, 2019 at Wallace Thompson Funeral Home in Rusk. Services will be at Rusk First Baptist Church on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 2pm with Reverends Brian Givens, James Goforth, and Lee Welch participating. Interment will follow at Providence Cemetery two miles north of Dialville, Texas.
The family would like to thank Rusk's Dr. Mark Morris and staff, the Jacksonville UT Health Center staff, the Cherokee Trails Nursing Home staff, and Heart to Heart Hospice for their exemplary care and kindness.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that remembrances be sent to the Rusk Rotary Club at P.O. Box 324, Rusk, Texas 75785 or the Rusk First Baptist Church, 372 E 4th Street, Rusk, Texas 75785.
Houston White and his fellow members of the "Greatest Generation" will be greatly missed by family, friends and the country they loved.
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on May 7, 2019.