Barbara Ann Gerrard White
March 23, 1927 – August 25, 2020
Barbara Ann Gerrard White left this earthly life on August 25, 2020. She was the daughter of John Bunyan Gerrard and Barbara Fisher Gerrard, owners of a small general store that served the African American community in the small whistle-stop of Bentonia, MS. They also ran a boarding house where JP White first saw the “stuck-up little girl” on her two-wheel bicycle.
When he returned from the Pacific they married and made their home in Jackson. Five children were born between 1950 and 1960. Like the Wife of Noble Character in Proverbs 31, Barbara did not know idleness. She was the family drill sergeant while JP was on the railroad. She also supplemented the family income teaching home economics at Wingfield High School. But life was centered in Robinson Street Baptist Church where she was the soloist for funerals, weddings, and special events.
The house was a Better Homes and Gardens nightmare set up for ping pong, television, rock and roll, and safe courtships. As each teenager purchased a car the front yard became a used car lot. The three boys all became pastors and the oldest daughter became a teacher. But Barbara’s proudest accomplishment was her youngest special needs daughter. Barbara fought an uphill battle for her life and education. Reading a magazine article, she finally identified a little-known diagnosis.
Prader-Willi Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder fraught with special needs. That discovery began a long journey to Fernwood Group Home at North MS Regional Center near the campus of Ole Miss. Literally, until the day Barbara passed from this life, her eyes lit-up for her youngest daughter’s daily phone calls. She was Barbara’s greatest accomplishment.
Upon retirement Barbara and JP moved to her dream house in the Cascades neighborhood of Clinton. They enjoyed singing in the Parkway Baptist Church senior choir, travel with friends, reading, gardening, fishing, walking in Metro Center, and relaxation. After JP’s death in 2011, Barbara moved to Gateway Gardens Assisted Living in Marble Falls, TX.
Barbara is survived by her children: Rev. John Purser White, Jr. and Patricia of Horseshoe Bay, TX; Phyllis Sandoval and Paulino of Corpus Christi, TX; Rev. Howard Gerrard White and Rev. Lynn Meadows-White of Columbus, GA; Rev. Dr. Carl Marcus White and Frances of Meridian, MS; Laura White of Oxford, MS; 8 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren. All of her descendants gathered in Texas for her 90th Birthday Celebration in 2017.
There will be a graveside Family Remembrance & Hymn Singing at the Lakewood Memorial Park South on Friday, October 2, at 10:00 a.m. Friends of the family are invited to join in.
Family Remembrance & Hymn Singing
Friday, October 2, 2020