Dr. Jerre R. White passed away after a lengthy illness on November 20, 2023 at the age of 94. He was born in Marianna, Arkansas on “Black Friday” – October 29, 1929. He was raised in Helena, Arkansas on the banks of the Mississippi River.
He was preceded in death by his parents George and Anita White, his wife Jackie C. White, his sister June McCormack, and his brother Wayne White. He is survived by his sister Rev. Joy Pruitt, his children Karen E. White and David A. White (Kristi), and his grandson Allen D. Clayton.
Dr. White was an Eagle Scout and was awarded one of the highest awards by the Boy Scouts of America – the Silver Beaver Award. He was a veteran of the Korean Conflict and chosen as the most Outstanding Airman for the USAF 5th Air Force in 1951. He was decorated for valor after he disarmed a missile that had been accidentally fired under a large mound of bombs. He was one of the first Explosive, Ordinance, Demolition (EOD) techs in the US Air Force. After an honorable discharge, he returned to Memphis, Tennessee to marry his pen pal from the war, Jacqueline Cunningham, and enroll at Memphis State University in pre-med. At the University, he served as president of his fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon and vice-president of the Student Government Association.
After graduation from the University of Tennessee Medical School in 1960, he started his practice in Moundville, Alabama before moving it to Tuscaloosa where he worked for almost 30 years with Dr. Earl Glenn. Together, Drs. White and Glenn had the first desegregated waiting room in Tuscaloosa. Dr. White was one of the group of doctors who opened West Alabama General Hospital in Northport where he was Chief of Staff and past president of the Alabama Academy of Family Practice. After resigning from private practice to care for his ailing wife, Dr. White participated with Dr. Glenn in many church trips to Honduras and Guatemala.
He was an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, helping organize and start the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited where he was a Life Sponsor. Additionally, he rose to Executive Vice President of the Mississippi Flyway. He prided himself on being excellent duck caller who could call ducks by blowing into his hand using a technique taught to him in Arkansas. In fact, he was a top 5 finisher in 1972 World Duck Calling Contest. His other passion was hunting wild turkeys. He and friends chased turkeys all over the country and Mexico until they achieved the World Slam of Turkey Hunting.
There will be a private graveside service on Friday, November 24, 2023, at Tuscaloosa Memorial Park with full Military Honors followed by a public service at 2 pm at Christ Episcopal Church with Reverend Paul Pradat officiating. A reception will follow in Randall Hall. Norwood-Wyatt Chapel will be officiating the service.
The family would like to thank Hospice of West Alabama and his caregivers – Cedric Stewart, Joe Perkins, and Michael Tillman. Honorary Pallbearers include Harvey Edwards, Ted Hellums, Forrest Fitts, Allen Mattox, Billy Prout, Douglas Renolds, and Duncan Moore.