Joseph (Joe) James White

Friday, April 4, 2014
Joseph (Joe) James White

Joseph (Joe) James White, 94, resident of 2191 Ironwood Road, Fort Scott, passed away Thursday, April 03, 2014 at Guest Home Estates. He was born on a farm near Fulton, Kan., on Sept. 11, 1919, the son of James Henry White and Phoebe Dorsey White. He attended grade school in the Fulton area and graduated from Fulton High School in 1937. He continued his education at Fort Scott Junior College (now Fort Scott Community College) in 1939 and Kansas State Teacher's College (now Pittsburg State University) in 1941. Following graduation from college he accepted a teaching fellowship at Ohio University, where he spent half his time on teaching duties and the other half on graduate work. He was a graduate assistant for one class of pre-med students and two classes of nursing students. Then came Pearl Harbor and the need for chemists in the war industry. He left college and accepted employment as a chemist at Plum Brook Ordinance Works, near Sandusky, Ohio. After nearly two years there, he enlisted as an aviation cadet in the Army Air Corp (now U.S. Army Air Force). He spent approximately two years in service and received his honorable discharge in November 1945. Joe accepted a temporary Civil Service appointment from the U.S. government and worked as a chemist and safety engineer at Spencer Chemical Company for a short time before he accepted employment with The Western Insurance Companies. He was with the Western 38 years. It was there that he met Bonnie Lee Harkness. They were married in Fort Scott on Aug. 1, 1947. Most of Joe's time with the Western was spent as manager of the California Branch Office. He retired in 1985 and returned to the Fort Scott area in 1990. In his younger days, Joe enjoyed hunting and fishing, playing basketball, softball, golf and bowling. In later years, he enjoyed watching sports on TV and spending time with his family. While in California, he was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Bell. He served as trustee, usher and teacher. During recent years, niece Ellen Geneva has watched for Joe's care so he could stay in his own home with his dependent son, Keith.

He leaves behind a son, Kent White and wife Shirley of Joplin, Mo.; three grandchildren, Zachary White, Alyssa White and Joy White. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Bonnie Lee; a son, Keith White; seven sisters, Grace White, Mildred Ashford, Ethel Coon, Mary Doubledee, Edna Beth, Beulah Bryant, Opal Wimmer; and four brothers, Charles, Ernest, Lloyd and Leonard.

Pastor Danny Brown will conduct graveside services at 10 a.m. Monday, April 7, in the U.S. National Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by the Olson Frary Burkhart Post No. 1165 V.F.W. Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, 201 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kansas 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com