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Saturday, September 30, 2023
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
Robert Wayne White was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma in 1927 to Willie Beatrice Forbes and Elijah Vernon White. After his family moved to Oklahoma City, he attended various grade schools and attended junior and senior high school at Capitol Hill, where he was the president of the math club and the Chieftain pep club and a member of the Academic Diploma Society and National Honor Society. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1951 with a BBA. He was Treasurer and Vice President of the student body, a member of Student Senate, Delta Sigma Pi and a distinguished military student.
Bob worked for C.R. Anthony part-time throughout junior high, high school and college. Upon graduation, he served two active-duty tours in the U.S. Army, in the U.S. and Germany for 4 years. He additionally served as a reserve officer and was called up to active duty at Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas in1961 for one year. When he left the Army, his departing rank was Major.
In March 1955, Bob took a position with the Lily Tulip Cup Corporation in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was there that he met Jane Cole Carter. Their first date was an unmitigated disaster but for some reason he asked her out again some months later and for some unknown reason she said yes. In a rather alarmingly short time, Bob and Jane married and with Jane’s two small children, Rick and Pati, they became a family. Almost immediately Bob was transferred to Oklahoma City. Until they could find a house, they lived in the Thunderbird Motel that later became a pre-release prison center. The family would have told you it felt like that when they lived there.
Bob went to work for Cardinal Paper Company in 1963 as a Salesman and rose through the ranks to be the Owner and Chairman. It was a bit Ironic that a man named Bob White worked for and later owned Cardinal Paper Company and had an Administrative Assistant named Robin.
The founder of Sonic had a wonderful relationship with Bob and because of Bob’s willingness to open warehouses throughout the country, Sonic was able to grow into the company it is today. Cardinal sold Sonic all of their paper goods, advertising materials and uniforms among other things. Bob is the reason Sonic uses styrofoam cups, their signature red straw and their iconic red tray. Until recently, Bob and a partner owned a company, O’Tray, that sells Sonic those red trays and for many years he owned the patent on that tray.
In 1985, Bob had the best time of his life when he started Lincoln National Bank and became Chairman. He loved the bank and everything about it. He was especially proud of the Lincoln essay contest where school-aged children competed to write essays and draw pictures of Lincoln and State dignitaries came and gave speeches. One time a Governor gave a shockingly wrong fact in his speech but Bob was secretly
pleased because he had not voted for him. He was the sole “no” vote when the decision was made to sell the bank to BancFirst despite his respect for Gene Rainbolt.
For many, many years Bob had coveted a building at 13th and Walnut, The Walcourt Building. He and his friend Claudia Holliman started stalking the elusive owner who had inherited it from her husband. This went on for 15 years and despite signing an intent to sell document, she sold the building to someone else. Bob was bereft. Fortunately, the buyer realized he could not do what he wanted to do with the building so very late in 2017 Claudia, Bob and Steve Morris met to acquire The Walcourt. Today, it is a beautiful, fully-leased building that recently won a very prestigious award. Bob just recently got to tour the completed building. He was so very proud!
Bob is preceded in death by the light of his eye, Jane Cole Carter White, and son, Richard Carter White, parents, Willie Beatrice and Elijah Vernon, brother, Elijah Vernon Jr., aunts, Bertha and Irene Forbes, uncle, Joe Forbes, Harry Forbes and cousins, Marilyn (John) Tate, William Freeman, Fain Forbes, Jorene (Bill) Henry, Fred L. (Martha) Cole, and nephews, Brandon Poenisch and Randy White.
He is survived by his daughter, Patricia Jane White, his niece, Belynda Moore, and great-niece, Lacy (Matt) Koehler, and her children, Braden and Landon. He is also survived by his cousins, Floyd (Norma deceased) Forbes, Pete Forbes, Sherrie Sue (Al deceased) Clark, James Jack (Sheila) Forbes, Mary Lee (Alan) Harris, Susan (Greg) Rush and Will Rush and his honorary Cole cousins Brady (Carol) Cole, Rosser (Lucy) Cole, Wharton (Eileen) Cole and Rex (Suzanne, Stephanie deceased) Cole, and his much beloved granddog, Fiona. We must also offer our sincere condolences in their grief to Penelope Cruz and Nicole Kidman.
A private family burial will be held on Saturday September 30th at 10:00 at Rose Hill Cemetery with a Memorial Service held at Crown Heights Methodist Church at 11:00, with Reverends Trina Bose North and Dr. Robin Meyers officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to:
The Robert White Memorial Tree Fund
c/o Oklahoma City Community Foundation OCCF.org on-line or by mail at
1000 N. Broadway Ave.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102
Rose Hill Burial Park