Dr. Estelle Edwards White, of Newport, NC, passed away peacefully at home on February 2, 2015. She was 95 years old.
A graveside service will be held in Newport at Cedar Grove Cemetery at 1:00 pm Saturday February 7, 2015 with the Reverend Tom Supple, Pastor of St. James United Methodist church, officiating.
Dr. White, or Estelle, as she was called, was predeceased by: her parents, Hannibal Cola and Arline Vick Edwards, her first husband, Leslie Glenn Garner, her second husband, Joshua Alvin White, followed by her brothers, Otis Edwards, Louis Edwards and Raymond Edwards. She is survived by two nieces, Bettye Jean Carden and Linda E. Keel of Edenton, NC and two nephews, M. Lee Edwards of Morehead City and Jerry Edwards of Chapel Hill, NC. Although not family members, Paul and Geneva Jenkins became Estelle’s special friends making it possible for her to remain at home. They saw to her needs in her declining years.
Dr. White was born and grew up in Newport, NC, graduating from Newport Consolidate School at 16. She then entered East Carolina Teachers College in Greenville, NC, where she earned her undergraduate degree.
After graduating from East Carolina Teachers College, Dr. White worked as a home demonstration agent in Franklin County residing in Louisburg, NC. She later transferred to Halifax County staying in Weldon, NC. She continued working as a home demonstration agent for thirty years before retiring. She made many longtime friends in the Halifax County area who still remember her today.
While living in Louisburg, she continued her education by earning her master’s degree at NC State College. Always determined to do better, she continued studying at NC State, taking a side course at UNC Chapel Hill, until she earned her doctorate degree. Upon earning her Ph.D., Dr. Edgar Boone, her advisor and mentor at NC State, who was impressed with Estelle’s work ethics and caring concerns for others, encouraged her to apply for a position at her favorite school - North Carolina State, a land grand institution. In 1971, Dr. White’s application was accepted. This at a time when there were not many women staff members.
Dr. White was proud to be a member of the staff at NC State, and institution she dearly loved. She remained on staff until she retired to come home to Newport to care for her ailing brother, Raymond.
About the time she joined the staff at NC State, the head of the North Carolina community college system insisted that all community college presidents have a doctorate degree. NC State was selected to offer a program and Dr. White was chosen to establish and head up a program that would help the community college presidents earn their required doctorate. Because the presidents had to travel to Raleigh on their own time for classes, she would work late into the night, and on weekends, assisting them. Her only request for so graciously giving of her time was that at least one of them would follow her to her apartment to be sure she arrived home safely.
Dr. White had some good care givers over the last several years. She was especially happy with the care she received from two of them, Ms. Shirley Carver, care giver par Exelon and Ms. Teresa Lewis, a real delight. Thank you both for the love and quality care you provided Estelle and a special “thank you” to Dr. William T. Walker, Jr, M.D. and the hospice nurses.
Flowers are welcome and donations may be made to St. James United Methodist Church, PO Box 250, Newport, NC 28570.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.mundenfuneralhome.net www.mundenfuneralhome.net>
Arrangements by Munden Funeral Home and Crematory Inc. of Morehead City.