American Patriotic 10

Thomas Leighton White

December 30, 1934 ~ December 31, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Thomas White Obituary

Thomas Leighton White of Iuka entered Heaven’s gate on December 31, 2023. Widely know around town as Mr. Tom, he was a body-building octogenarian with bulging biceps and Navy tattoos. Tom was an irrepressible teller of tall tales, and an inveterate mentor, encouraging young people to pursue their education. 

Born in 1934 to Morrison Brown White and Etta Jo Nunley White, Tom was barefoot royalty, calling himself a Prince of Pennywinkle during his boyhood spent roaming the woods of Pennywinkle Bottoms just outside of Iuka. He followed his father into the U.S. Navy as a Petty Officer 2nd Class during the Korean War, sailing on the USS Orlick from 1953-57. At the end of his service in 1957 he married Judy Currie Shackelford White of Iuka.  

He received a Bachelors from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Masters from the University of Georgia in Industrial Arts & Education, and spent the next 30+ years teaching drafting, metal shop, and driver’s ed in high schools from Decatur, GA to Memphis, TN. Tom and Judy White were also Mississippi state officers in the Gideons International and Auxillary, serving faithfully for 50 years.

They returned to their hometown of Iuka in 1999 for their retirement years, and joined the Iuka Baptist Church, where they both frequently taught Sunday School classes. A colon cancer survivor, Tom bounced back in 2005 to win record-breaking awards in NASA Powerlifting competitions in TN at the age of 71. 

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Fred, and his wife Judy, who passed in early 2020 after 62 years of marriage. He is survived by his daughter, Currie White Burcham of Iuka; his son Ed White of Knoxville; his daughter Anne White Kenworthy of Memphis; his brothers James, Steve, and Morrison White, and sister Edie White Bishop; and grandchildren Miles Malone, Lauren Malone, Brooke Kenworthy, and Vi Thompson. Funeral services are scheduled for January 1, 2024, and will be officiated by Bro. John Gwatney. Interment will follow in Snowdown Cemetery. Donations in his name should be made to the Gideons International in support of their mission.

Funeral services will be held Monday, January 1, 2024, at Ludlam Funeral Home Chapel beginning at 2:30 p.m. with a visitation prior beginning at 2:00 p.m. with Bro. John Gwatney officiating. Interment will be in Snowdown Cemetery, Iuka, MS. Ludlam Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Thomas Leighton White. You may leave online condolences to the family at www.ludlamfuneralhome.com

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