John Bennett White
Services for John Bennett White III, 86, of Tyler will be held on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Marvin United Methodist Church with Rev. Gerry Giles and Dr. Doug Baker officiating. A reception will follow in Pirtle Hall. A family graveside will precede the memorial service. Services are under the direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home.
Mr. White passed away Sunday, September 15, 2019 in Tyler. He was born April 3, 1933 in Austin to J.B. White Jr. and Marie Midkiff White. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister and brother-in-law, Joan and Armand Legendre.
Mr. White is survived by his wife of 60 years, Gail Hudson White; his four children, J. Bennett White IV, Hudson White and his wife Brandi, Victoria Ashworth and her husband Jerry, and Harriet White; a niece, Aimee Legendre; and eight grandchildren: J.B. White V, Olivia White, Sadie White, Anne White, Ben Ashworth, Katherine Ashworth, Henry White and Daniel White.
Mr. White was reared in Jacksonville, where he graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1951. He attended Texas A&M University, where he received a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1955, and served as commanding officer of the A Ordinance outfit in the Corps of Cadets. In his senior year, he was honored to receive the Fritz Award, which recognized the most outstanding commanding officer. Following graduation, he entered the United States Army and served in the Atomic Division, located in Siegelsbach, Germany.
After serving his country, Mr. White returned to Jacksonville in 1957 to join the family retail business, J. B. White Company, founded by his father in the late 1930s. With his leadership and commitment, the business eventually evolved into 62 stores across Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
Mr. White met his future wife, Gail Hudson, on a blind date arranged by mutual friends, Carole & Fred Haberle. They were married less than a year later, on Valentine's Day, in February of 1959.
While living in Jacksonville, Mr. White was one of the founding members of the Evangelical Methodist Church, where he served as treasurer for many years. He was a member of the Jacksonville Rotary Club and served on the boards of Texas Bank & Trust and Southside Bank. Active in the Boy Scouts of America, Mr. White served as an assistant scoutmaster of Troop 407, where he led the development and construction project of the troop's log scout hut. He and his wife enjoyed dancing and were involved members of the local dance club, the Jacksonville Churn supper club and the Badminton Club. Mr. White also attended Bible Study Fellowship and was a member of the Cherokee County A&M Club.
After moving to Tyler in 1994, Mr. White and his wife joined Marvin United Methodist Church, where he attended the Friendly Bible Class and the Tuesday Men's Bible Study. Mr. and Mrs. White also became members of the Venetian Ballroom Dance Club in Tyler. He enjoyed attending weekly Aggie Luncheons hosted by the East Texas A&M Foundation. An avid golfer, he enjoyed playing throughout his life, always endeavoring to improve his game. He achieved his goal of shooting his age on multiple occasions in recent decades.
An engineer at heart, Mr. White was an avid hobbyist known to take on interesting projects. These efforts included construction of a flintlock gun, a color television, a pirogue boat, and an ultralight airplane. While building the ultralight plane, he formed the Pterodactyl Preservation Society of Cherokee County with friends who shared his passion for planes and flying. He also dabbled in bird dog training, raising quail, and even self-published a book. He was an instrument-rated pilot, an expert level marksman, and a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason.
Above all else, Mr. White was devoted to his family. He faithfully served and honored his wife. He modeled a dedicated work ethic, integrity of character, and Christian standards at all times. He taught his children to shoot and took them hunting. He led his family to read Proverbs daily, to live life with wisdom, to plan ahead and be prepared for the unexpected. He loved reading, good music, and his outstanding sense of humor was enjoyed by all who knew him.
The family is grateful for the StayKare caregivers who supported him, including: Nathan Pilcher, Elizabeth Netherland, Hannah Gatling, and Mack Allen. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Marvin United Methodist Church, 300 W. Erwin St., Tyler, TX 75702, Bible Study Fellowship at, or a charity of your choice.
Published on September 18, 2019


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1 posts

Gay Garrett
Sep 19, 2019
Prayers for your family on the earthly loss of John.
I am honored to have know him and your wonderful family.