William Roland White Jr.
September 11, 1939 – August 21, 2020
William Roland White, Jr, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, devoted Catholic, died on Friday, the 21st of August, 2020. He was 80 years old. He was a native Houstonian, born on the 11th of September, 1939, to William Roland White, Sr and Helen Seaman White. He attended St. Thomas High School and The University of Houston. He married his loving wife, Patricia Spalding, in 1959, at the young age of 19. While at U of H, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and was active in the Republican Party of Harris County. He continued his interest in politics throughout his life - one of his personal favorite moments was visiting the White House and meeting President Ronald Reagan, the president he most admired in his life. Roland began his career in sales and marketing with the Gallo Winery where he was the Area Sales Manager for Southern California when Boone’s Farm wines were exploding across the country. During his tenure, wine sales tripled in Southern California and Gallo became the largest selling wine in the United States. He then moved across the country and became the National Sales Manager for the Gillette Company. He then made his first foray into entrepreneurship, and developed a successful startup business manufacturing a product he invented called “The Washing Machine” which fits in the corner of a shower and dispensed liquid soap, shampoo, and conditioner. “The Washing Machine” became the number one selling bathroom product in southern California. In 1975, he was one of the primary principles (along with his brother, Justin White) to be awarded one of the first Coors distributorships in the Houston area as the beer company was expanding east of its Colorado roots. In the 1970s, Roland started his consulting business, Cambridge Consulting Group, and for the next 35 years, he offered strategic planning and consulting advice to numerous companies across many industries including Energy and Advanced Technology. He specialized in developing internal and external growth options, analyzing acquisition candidates, and optimizing product and service line strategies. He ultimately transformed his business to Cambridge Education Partners, breaking into the creation of educational training software for school districts and businesses across the country. His passion was always business, and he was always on the lookout for the next entrepreneurial opportunity. He was an avid reader on many topics, but especially books on history and business, and could engage almost anyone on those topics with great enthusiasm. He was also a caring father that loved and wanted the best for all of his children. He also took great pride in the successes of his children, like many fathers, often cornering an unsuspecting friend or associate with yet another story of their accomplishments. As grandchildren entered the picture, he found a new passion. He was greatly supportive of any activity they were involved in, doing his best to attend every extracurricular or sporting event, and found great pleasure in simply hearing what was happening in their lives. As more time passed, he relished the large family gatherings around the holidays at his home. Who could forget the late night charade games or white elephant gift exchanges, where all would laugh so hard they would often cry. Memories of his legacy will live on for generations. He is preceded in death by his parents, William Roland White, Sr and Helen Seaman White. He is survived by his faithful wife of 61 years, Patricia Spalding White; their children (and spouses), Bill (Karen), Roger (Leslie), Jenny (Mike), John, and Jane (Joel); and 16 grandchildren, Joe (Kylie), Jay (Victoria), Nicholas, Nathan, Kevin (Courtney), Michael, Kelli, Lauren (Drew), Ashley, Courtney, Jordan (Dylan), Madison, Savannah, and Cole; and 3 great grandchildren, Dax, Teddy, and Leilani. He is also survived by his brother, Justin C. White (Gina); and by his nephews, Justin, Robby (Krista), Chad (Sherry), and Ryan (Ja’Net). Roland will be remembered for his passion in everything he pursued. He approached the world with great curiosity and confidence and will always be remembered as an eternal dreamer and optimist. He will be greatly missed, but we are comforted knowing that he is now in a better place. Funeral services will now be held at 11:30am on Tuesday, the 1st of September, at St. Cyril of Alexandria Catholic Church, 10503 Westheimer Rd in Houston. Suits and ties are not required, as Roland has been a business casual proponent for many years. In the current COVID environment, funeral services will be family only, but please join us by watching the live stream of the service on the church website by going to www.facebook.com/stcyrilhouston/posts/. At a private gravesite ceremony, Roland will be placed to rest next to his mother and father at Forest Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to St. Cyril of Alexandria Catholic Church (where Roland dedicated a lot of his time) or a charity of your choice.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
William Roland White Jr.
September 1, 2020
Dear Patricia and White Family,
Please accept our deepest condolences. We are so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers during this time of sorrow. We share the same St. Cyril's church family. May God bless you and keep you safe.
Linda Stout and Joel Verbois
August 30, 2020
Roland was always curious and interested in the world around him - its history, politics cultures, ideas, technology, sports, you name it. I learned this as best friend in high school of his son John. We would share many moments together during HS, college and beyond. What I greatly enjoyed about Roland was that he was always asking insightful questions, sharing thoughts and probing to engage and understand. He was a true intellectual at heart with an insatiable drive to understand the world fused with an innovative, entrepreneurial spirit. We will definitely miss Roland White.
In tribute, Jim Versalovic
August 28, 2020
Pat White called to let me know that Roland died this morning. We shed a quiet tear and remembrances of a great, funny, smart, innovative, generous, Catholic, family man and leader.
I can’t begin to tell you what Roland meant to me personally. He was an unflagging ally in That Man Is You from the beginning. He was a founder of the Trinity Patriots. He was an untiring volunteer at St. Cyril’s and Holy Name Retreat Center. He arranged NCAA Final Four tickets and joined my daughter, son, and me for a bucket list weekend at NRG. He rallied for so many special supports of brothers who needed a little help in this life. He was creative in his support of his beloved University of Houston, where he met his cherished Pat. Oh, did he ever tell you that he was the first Chairman of the Houston Republican Party? He may also have been the only member back in the day.
I go to my deceased father whenever I need a mini miracle to solve a mechanical problem.
I plan to use Roland as a valuable intercessor for when I need a mini miracle on a problem that requires creativity, passion, and an unstoppable positive attitude.
We have loved you Roland and thank you for having been in our lives. We are all better for it.
August 28, 2020
Roland earned a place in my heart, he was the most energetic, creative, passionate catholic, fair, sentimental, loving person I have ever met. Sorry for my long message, but I wanted to share some, just some out of so many stories to tell.
When I met Roland, there was an instant connection, he recruited me for the program That Man Is You and pushed me to lead the program in our Hispanic community. I will need to write a book to share all the memories I have with him, way too many. His energy was always contagious, he wanted to meet all the time, early in the morning, 6:30 AM at the Denny’s restaurant on Wiicrest and I-10. He always ordered the same for breakfast, white eggs with vegetables, English muffin, and many cups of coffee.
Because of Roland, I had the opportunity to meet so many great friends, many of you copied on this email. I miss the times we spent together.
Roland was always thinking about collaboration, that was his motto “Collaboration”, and creativeness. He read the newspapers all the time and he was always looking for opportunities based on what he read on the papers. Some of his ideas including:
- Expanding the University of Houston Charter School to all over Texas
- Bringing a medical school to Rice University in collaboration with UT
- Converting a golf course into a landfill with the objective to create energy from methane gas
- Convert all School vehicles to Natural Gas vehicles, we really spent time on this one.
- Converting my construction and management business into an Energy supplier.
- Developing nanotechnology for health benefits and cancer cure
- Developing software to evaluate kids’ performance at school. This was his original idea with his old firm, Cambridge Education Partners
It was always fascinating to hear his plans, review all the intricacies, discuss for hours each of them, meet with experts, and then jump into another idea.
Roland had the b
August 25, 2020
Well when you’ve had the best...
Always loved to talk to Roland on any subject - sports, Jesuit, history, business.
So sorry for your loss. He will be missed.