Henry O. White

henry white
Henry O. White 1942 - 2022 Henry Orndorff White passed away on December 11, 2022, in Nashville, TN, with his family by his bedside after a 2 month-long battle with illness. Henry, also widely known as Gran-Gran and Santa, was a light to this sometimes-dark world, and he will be deeply missed by all of those who were lucky enough to know him. He touched the lives of thousands across multiple generations. During his 80 years on earth, his impact of optimism, joy, compassion, and love for people is immeasurable. Henry’s love of life was evident in how he lived each day. Even the simplest of occasions turned into a fun time of laughter and music as he entertained us with his singing and trumpet songs. We will carry his music in our hearts forever. His impact is like a pebble, making a ripple that continues to extend and change the world for many generations. Henry was born and raised in Russellville, Ky, but completed his high school years in Pulaski, TN, where his family relocated when he was in the eighth grade. It was at this time that he joined the band and found his lifetime love of trumpet playing. He graduated from Giles County High School in 1960. After high school, he attended Belmont University, majored in entomology, and minored in music. After Henry left college, he returned to his childhood hometown of Russellville, KY. It was shortly after his return to Russellville that he became reacquainted at a local basketball game with a childhood friend of his sisters, Miss Patt Pitts, the woman who would become the love of his life. Henry and Patt soon became inseparable and maintained that level of love and friendship for the next 60 years as they built their life and legacy together. Henry was a word smither, entrepreneur, and salesman and worked in many careers over his lifetime. Photographer, journalist, marketing specialist, travel agent, restaurant owner, prayer counselor, and worship leader are just a few of the career roles he pursued. However, his biggest role in life was that of a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to his ever-growing family. Henry and Patt moved to Greenbrier, TN, in 1974 to be closer to his office at the Baptist Sunday School Board in downtown Nashville while raising their young family. It was in Greenbrier where they raised their family of four children, Venn, Holli, Kandi, and Brooke. Henry’s love and laughter continuously transformed the lives of everyone he encountered. He brought such a bounty of joy to everything he did with his smile and unconditional love for all humanity. He had a remarkable ability to connect with others and evoked a sense of love and acceptance in everyone he encountered. Most recently, Henry was afforded the opportunity to spend time with some of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other loved ones at his 80th birthday celebration, and this brought him immense joy. Henry should be recalled as someone whose compassion and love transcended all barriers. This is his legacy that he would want to be remembered for and what he would want us all to continue perpetuating long after his time on earth. Henry was preceded in death by his sister Nora Willaims, parents Joseph and Dura White, best friend and brother-in-law, Robbie Pitts, in-laws Rueben and Elsie Pitts, along with many other family members and loved ones over the years. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Patt, and children Venn (Karen) White, Holli (Aaron) Keith, Kandi (David) Davis, and Brooke (Trevor) Will. Henry is also survived by his grandchildren, Kaleb Davis (Kyle Corey), Kassi Davis (Logan Goostree), Kobey Davis, Alexandra Keith (WIll Berlik), Peyton White, Leah Johnson (Derrek), and David (Karen) Sozo. He is also survived by his sister Linda Rollins (Bill) and many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews that adored him. His ultimate legacy continues with great-grandchildren, Josie, Simon, Lincoln, Anna Drew, and Everlee, and all those to come. A time of visitation will be held on Saturday, December 17, 2022, from 11:30AM until 1:30PM, followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00PM, both at Cornerstone Church, Nashville. Arrangements in the care of Compassion Funeral & Cremation Services, Nashville, TN (615) 857-9555. We proudly remain locally owned & operated.

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  1. I attended church with the White family for many years at Ridgetop Baptist Church. I have such good memories of our time together. Brooke was in my Sunday School class. Henry was the photographer for my sister’s wedding. And I have to mention that he made the BEST sandwiches! I send love, prayers, and condolences to the family. May your warm memories help comfort you. Lori Stephens

  2. I don’t recall ever hearing a harsh word come out of my Uncle Henry’s mouth… he was always a kind, gentle soul. I’ve been told he was much like my daddy his best friend, which always gave me such comfort. Uncle Henry was always the calming voice to lend a helping hand no matter what it was. I remember him always taking time to play with the kids of all ages. My momma instilled us as children to him and my Aunt Patt when my dad was sick and for this I am grateful. Uncle Henry was like my dad I don’t remember. Until we meet again Uncle rest easy. Much love to my family, Robin Cumberland

  3. Love, prayers and peace. Uncle Henry was truly a beautiful person inside and out. His love for family is my fondest memory of him and always will be. He and Aunt Patt made great and good impressions on me throughout my life. Their love of God and their immense faith was a true gift to me and my sister growing up without our Dad. Love to all of you in this difficult time. Tonya

  4. Sorry to hear of Henry’s passing. We were great friends in high school and connected in latter years on Facebook. Walter Luker

  5. We are honored to have shared your joyous life with you. Look for us smiling up at you. Love you

    A Memorial Tree was planted in memory of Henry O. White

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