White, Joe M. Joe Morris White of Dallas died in the early moments of October 26, the day after his 73rd birthday. He had bravely battled numerous health issues for many years. Joe was born in Vernon, Texas in 1939 and graduated from Vernon High School where he excelled in football, track and was a Golden Gloves boxing champion. He played college football at the Air Force Academy and the University of North Texas. Upon graduation from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Joe spent several years as a successful football coach in Texas, New Mexico and Alaska. Following this, he began his career in economic development and site selection services which would continue throughout the remainder of his life. Joe was Executive Vice President of the Wichita Falls Board of Commerce and Industry for 10 years, and in 1979, formed his own consulting firm, The Pathfinders. During these years, Joe became a recognized name among the country's economic development professionals and was known as a fierce competitor and outstanding deal-maker. He was one of the best and smoothest salesmen in the business. Joe and his team negotiated deals with industry giants such as General Motors, Siemens and Harley Davidson; developed strategies for the U.S. Department of Defense for military base closings and realignments; and introduced the concept of "underemployment" among the nation's labor force. Joe was a Mason and a proud member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas. Joe liked to bird hunt and play cards. He was especially good at poker, having been taught well by his Uncle "Speedy" Cox, a professional gambler. Joe enjoyed watching old black-and-white movies on TV, airplanes, and anything to do with World War II. Above all, Joe loved his family. He is survived by his wife of almost 30 years, Dianne, and their daughter Kristina (Ian) Mitchell of Lubbock; daughters Kimberly (Robb) Pulaski and Rebecca (Kurt) Griffin both of Plano and their mother, Jane Barton of Athens; grandchildren Peyton, Allie, and Robbi Pulaski; Joe, Nick, Luke, and Olivia Griffin; Richard and Merrick Mitchell; brother Bill White of Runaway Bay; best friends Jim Hollingsworth of Rule and Charles Simmons of San Angelo; nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins; and a host of friends and business colleagues that extend from California to New York, Jamaica to Africa. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jewel Raymond White and Irene Cox, his sister Mary, two nephews Tim and Mike, and his faithful dogs Pepper and Scout. At Joe's request, a private service was held on Tuesday, October 30, in the backyard of daughter Rebecca's home. The service was officiated by the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Callender, pastor of Bentwood Trail Presbyterian Church in Dallas. The grandchildren played and remembered Poppa Joe in their own individual ways; the adults celebrated his life and times with food and drink and good stories. Joe played hard, worked harder and loved hardest. He was no ordinary Joe. He will be missed. Online messages may be left at www.ariacremation.com or www.facebook.com/jwhite1939. If desired, donations in Joe's memory may be made to one of his favorite places, Cavanaugh Flight Museum, 4572 Claire Chennault Drive, Addison, Texas 75001.
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Published in Dallas Morning News on Nov. 11, 2012