Thelma Pearl White was born September 23, 1918 in Gadsden, Alabama. She departed this life peacefully on October 8, 2012 at the age of 94. Thelma was the eldest daughter of Bertram and Eva Thornton. Mother had two brothers and six sisters. She was united in marriage to Jesse W. White, Sr. on November 27, 1938 in Akron, Ohio, and they were married 64 years until his death in March 2003. She was the mother of four children.|
Mother was an expert seamstress, making wedding gowns and prom dresses not only for family but for others also throughout the city; perhaps you had one of her creations with her label Specially Fashioned by Thelma White. Mother's specialty in baking was sweet potato pies; she especially enjoyed making pies for the church bake sales. As a couple, mom and dad enjoyed going to the movies, camping and fishing, spending many hours on Lake Erie. During the Big Band era on a Friday or Saturday night you could find mom and dad at Chippewa Lake enjoying the music of Count Basie and ballroom dancing.
Mother loved singing and in earlier years she sang with a group called the "Mothers Singers." Her love for singing never diminished and she continued to sing until her passing. Her voice will be missed at Burton Health Care Center.
Mother worked at the voting polls for over 40 years. She also served as church secretary at Providence Baptist Church and with the food pantry at Mt. Zion Baptist Church until failing health, and then she began attending Morning Star Baptist Church with her son Jesse Jr. Mother was a member of The Eastern Star Mary Chapter #47 having the honor of serving as Worthy Matron. Mother was a mentor to many young ladies in the city of Akron, setting an excellent example of the woman in Proverbs 31. Most importantly, Mother "loved" her children and extended family. The two things we, her children, remember most about our Mom is her love of "perfume," always leaving her fragrance as she left the room, and that she was a "Woman of Elegance".
Mother was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jesse W. Sr.; brother, Adolph Thornton, Sr.; sisters, Louise Alford, Jean Smith, Mildred Thornton and Rose Daniels and granddaughter, Cydney Martin. Mother leaves to cherish her memories, sons, Jesse W. (Alyce) White Jr. of Akron, Alvin (Patricia) White of Texas; daughters, Katie (John) Leonard of Tallmadge and Janet (Winfred) Hollis of Burton. She also leaves 18 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren; brother, Bert E. Thornton; and sisters, Catherine (Alphonso) Harris and Lorrine Skipper; and a host of relatives and friends.
Condolences may be sent to 14707 Aspen Hills Lane, Burton, Ohio 44021. Funeral service will be held at Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home, 529 W. Thornton St., Akron, Ohio, on Monday, October 15, 2012 at 12 noon; viewing will begin at 11 a.m. until time of service. Interment will be at Glendale Cemetery.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal from Oct. 9 to Oct. 14, 2012