With heavy hearts, we, the staff and management of R. Swinson Funeral Services, along with the White family, announce the transition of CSM Freedie Lee White.
Freddie Lee White was born July 26, 1943, in Jones County, North Carolina to Benjamin Grant and Geraldine Farrah White. He began his education in a one-room school in the Jones County Elementary School system where he attended until entering Trenton High School in 1961. Because Trenton was a small town, Freddie assumed the responsibility of school bus driver during his high school years. He loved this duty and often talked about it with exuberant pride.
Freddie was baptized at an early age and sang in the choir at Holly Branch FWB church in Dover, NC. As a teenager, he sang with a gospel group called the Dixieland Gospel singers. He loved Sam Cooke and modeled his singing voice after him. At times, he thought he was Sam Cooke and therefore led most of the quartet's songs.
Upon graduation from high school, Freddie entered the U.S. Army. His military career spanned a period of 30 years, taking him to countries throughout the Asian, European and North American continents. His assignment locations included Korea, Spangdahlem Air Force Base, Germany; Wurzburg, Germany; St. Bonifacius, Minnesota; Fort Ord, California; and Fort Bliss, Texas.
In 1983, Freddie attended the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy and ultimately achieved the rank of Command Sergeant Major (CSM). He was assigned to the 3rd of the 43rd Air Defense Artillery Battalion, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. In 1992, after 30 years of military service, Freddie retired from his illustrious career. Following retirement, Freddie accompanied his wife, Carolyn, during her assignment at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico. While there, he managed the U.S. Embassy Commissary, where he procured U.S. and Mexican products for the Embassy population. He developed lasting relationships with his former Embassy employees and friends that continued long after his departure. Upon returning to the United States, Freddie and Carolyn settled in Grand Prairie, Texas to spend time with their daughter Geraldine, better known to most as “Kitty” and their only grandchild Kayla, who he deeply loved.
Freddie graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Social Psychology from Park University. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, where he devoted much of his time to the service of his beloved Theta Delta Lambda Chapter in El Paso, Texas. Post retirement, Freddie became an avid golfer. He enjoyed spending every available moment of the day on the golf course with his friends. He was also an accomplished distance runner and finished first place in the senior’s division of the El Paso Transmountain Mountain Marathon. He was a huge supporter of his granddaughter, Kayla, who was a star basketball player at Southern Methodist University. He loved to attend her games until his illness no longer permitted him to do so. However, he continued to follow the team on TV with pride and admiration.
Freddie was preceded in death by his father, Benjamin Grant, Sr; his mother, Geraldine Parker-Watters; his grandparent's, Joe and Emma White; and Ella Mae and Richard Hairston; sister Margie White; brothers: William Parker and Elton Leon Grant; in-laws: Briley (Sr.) and Catherine Garrison; and sisters-in-law: Betty Wells, Brenda Watters, and Pamila Garrison. He leaves behind cherished memories of his lovely wife of 56 years, Carolyn White; his daughter, Geraldine White, granddaughter, Kayla White; sisters: Vera Andrews, Rashida Abu-Qasim, Myra Parker-McGriff, and Grant siblings; Benjamin Jr., Lyndia, Ernestine, La-Forest, Jakki, Dalton,. Shelton, and Felton; his loving cousins, Margaret and William Anderson Jr, and Perry Lee Miller; childhood friends Emmitt King and William Brown; and close family friends Phillip and Janice Epps and Dave and Irene Taylor, and a host of other family members and friends.
Mr. White is in the care of Laurel Land Funeral Home, Dallas, Texas. R. Swinson Funeral Services is handling the local announcement.