Mr. Joseph Joe Patrick White

July 16, 1928December 18, 2013

Joseph P. White, 85 years old, peacefully passed away at Beacon Place on Wednesday December 18, 2013. He fought with conviction to the very end in the same way he lived his life on a daily basis with optimism, cheerfulness, and a sense of humor.

Left to cherish Joe’s memory are his wife, Ruth; sons, Chris (Bernadette), Kevin, and Stephen; daughters, Nancy Talley Helms (Les) and Kathy Clark (Andy); grandchildren, Tom (Amanda), Erin (Gene), Joe, Megan, Charlotte, Philip, Daniel, Julia, and Patrick; great grandchildren, Riley and Farrah; sister, Therese Boderck; and golf partner, Whitey Boswell. His grandchildren were his pride and joy. He encouraged, supported, and loved them unconditionally. He was an incredible husband, father and grandfather even though his own father died when he was a young boy and didn’t have his example to follow. His life of serving others began by helping his mother support their family of seven.

He served in the US Army in Japan with the 1st Cavalry from 1946-1949 and then benefited from the GI bill earning his Bachelor of Business from Fairleigh Dickinson. Joe married Ruth in 1955 and while supporting his growing family, earned his Masters Degree from NYU. After a successful career at Western Electric/Lucent Technologies, he retired in 1989 after 35 years of service.

Joe’s retirement was spent contributing countless hours helping his family as well as the community delivering mobile meals, senior shuttle service, overnight shelters, Red Cross disaster relief at 22 major disasters across the US – the last being the World Trade Center. In addition, Joe helped build the first Habitat for Humanity home in 1987 and has helped build every home that Habitat has built since (400+). On December 5, 2013, Joe was honored by Habitat and his work crew friends announcing the establishment of the "Joe White Volunteer of the Year Award." His final selfless act was the donation of his body to Duke University School of Medicine.

When he wasn’t working, he enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s events, reading history, working outside, playing golf, and bowling.

He emphasized in his final weeks that he has been blessed all of his life and could not have accomplished so much without Ruth’s love and support throughout their 58 years of marriage. Sincere thanks for the compassionate care received from Dr. Russo, Melissa, and the caregivers at Moses Cone and Beacon Place.

Visitation will be held at Hanes-Lineberry, 515 N. Elm Street on Friday, December 20, 2013, from 6:00 to 8:00pm. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated by Father Jack Timlin Jr. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church 812 Duke Street on Saturday, December 21, 2013, at 11:00AM where he has been a faithful parishioner and volunteer for 37 years.

In lieu of flowers, he has requested a good deed be done and say “that’s for Joe!”

Online condolences may be made at


  • Memorial Mass Saturday, December 21, 2013
  • Visitation Friday, December 20, 2013

Mr. Joseph Joe Patrick White

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Margie Collins

January 1, 2014

Nancy and family, my prayers are with you at this time.
Margie Collins

Paul Swenson

December 27, 2013

As a former staff member of Habitat for Humanity I am so thankful for Joe's faithfulness and presence. He encouraged my heart and the heart of everyone who worked with him. His investment in the lives of over 400 families has made an eternal impact. I offer my sincere gratitude to his family for sharing him with us for so many years. Thank you.

December 23, 2013

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your father. May your own faith in God sustain you, bringing you comfort today, courage for tomorrow and hope in your heart always. You are in my prayers.
Lillie Byrd

Graham Kametler

December 21, 2013


Sorry to hear of the loss of your father I am sure he will be truly missed by your family. After reading about what your father accomplished in his life time it makes us want to get involved more not only with our family but also our community.

God Bless. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

The Kametler Family Wakeforest, NC

December 21, 2013

"Kevin and family, the McRae's will gladly perform a good deed in the name of your husband, father, and granddaddy. (Martha and Jerry, Smithfield, NC)

Val Watson

December 21, 2013

Brother Kevin: May you find strength in God's word, healing through the fond memories of you and your dad. Our prayers and God's blessings to you and family . Valeshia Watson( Four Oaks, NC)

Ed Snyder

December 21, 2013

Joe was one of my good friend and a great lunch buddy while we both worked for AT&T. We enjoyed many a luncheon together with other friends. Joe was a great source knowledge for me and I totally enjoyed his company and knowledge and insights to help me in the performance of my job. I will remember him always.

My best wishes and Thought and love go to you in remberance of your Father.


my Best wishes and tha

December 20, 2013

Dear Nancy and family,
Our hearts go out to you in the loss of your dad and grandfather. We love you all so much and will be praying that our precious Lord will comfort and strengthen you as you draw near to Him.
Greg & Karen and family

Addison & Lois Smith

December 20, 2013

We are sorry to hear of your loss. We are praying for you and the family

December 20, 2013

Nancy and family, We are so sorry for your loss. He was a special person and he loved his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Ed and Brenda Runkle