J. Lee White, 87, of Shawnee, died Oct. 21, 2013.
Lee was born Nov. 15, 1925, in Johnston County in the small community of Connorville. He graduated from Davis High School in 1943 and began work at Spartan Aircraft in Tulsa. At Spartan, he met Wilma Alene Moore, and they married in 1943.
Lee was a World War II
veteran of the Navy and entered service in 1944, serving on an aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Essex. While he served onboard, the Essex was attacked by a Japanese kamikaze airplane near the island of Luzon in the Philippines and was involved in the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Lee returned to civilian life and graduated from Northeastern University in Tahlequah in 1949 with an accounting degree. Most of his working career was spent in banking, including serving as president of First Federal of Shawnee from 1970 until 1987.
Lee was a longtime Kiwanian and also served on the Board of the Salvation Army and worked as a volunteer at St. Anthony Hospital in Shawnee.
In 1973, Lee married Mary McKinzie and they have made their home in Shawnee since then. Lee and Mary are members of the First Baptist Church of Shawnee.
Lee was an avid reader, with a preference for history. He also enjoyed golfing and fishing. He was a devoted Sooner fan and could name players, scores and big plays that involved the University of Oklahoma. Lee had a great sense of humor and never met a stranger. He leaves behind a loving family and many friends. Lee was a member of the greatest generation, who served quietly, returned to everyday life, raised a family, and contributed to our society. He will be missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clint White and Pearl Elizabeth (Ingram) White; a brother, Jerry White; and one sister, Clinta McCoy.
He is survived by his loving wife, Mary White; son, Mark S. White; daughter, Monta Lee Setzer; stepdaughter, Brenda Terry; and stepson, Brent McKinzie. He is also survived by two sisters, Sue Jennings and LaDena Fryer; one brother, Joe White; stepsister, Sue Polk; stepbrothers, Sam Vanderbilt and Frank Vanderbilt; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and others in the extended White and Davis families.
A memorial celebrating the life of Lee White will be at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26, at First Baptist Church in Shawnee.