Marion Kenneth ‘Ken’ White

Published 3:35 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Marion Kenneth “Ken” White, 78, of Jackson passed away Thursday, May 2, after a lengthy battle with dementia.

Born in Yazoo City on September 4, 1945, to Mercia (Martin) and Sidney White, Ken was the younger of two sons.

He and his brother Sidney spent their early years in Yazoo County with their parents.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

In the early 1950s, they relocated to South Jackson to be closer to the Martins, who had set out previously to take advantage of the post-war opportunities in the capital city.

These were his formative years as he was surrounded by his extended family, specifically his cousin Ronnie and uncle Doyle, who was a second father as Ken’s dad worked on the road throughout the year.

After graduating from Forest Hill High School in 1964, he attended Mississippi State University at the insistence of his parents and after much planning and sacrifice on their part.

A self-proclaimed poor student, Ken was so very proud of earning his degree “on time” in 1968.

As a graduation present, he was awarded a trip to Vietnam in short order.

Ken did, however, enjoy the structure of the Army, was a member of the 25th infantry, and received a Bronze Star for his service.

Upon his return, he enrolled at Mississippi College, earned an MBA and during this time met Frances “Tuzzi” Swan of Vicksburg.

They were married at St. Paul Catholic Church in 1973 and settled in South Jackson while Ken began his career with the State Highway Department in real estate.

In 1975, he accepted a position with the Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg beginning a 40-plus-year tenure as a licensed general appraiser and retiring as the deputy chief of the Real Estate Division. Averse to any pomp and circumstance, when he retired, he told no coworkers besides human resources, left on a Friday afternoon and never returned.

Paralleling his Corps service, in 1985, Ken and Tuzzi established a steel fabrication business, White Metalcrafts, and proceeded to pour their blood, sweat, and tears into the venture.

In the early days he worked with his brother Sidney and dear friend Butch Seavey to create a viable business that they operated for 20 years.

Ken White was a simple yet complex individual.

He told his sons Barry and Patrick to be their own men and not conform to the prescribed norm, smile and speak to anyone they encountered and ultimately follow the Golden Rule.

Ken is preceded in death by many dear friends and family, specifically his parents; brother, Sidney; uncle, Doyle; and friend, Butch Seavey.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Frances “Tuzzi” White; sons, Patrick (Casee) and Barry (Mary Margaret); and granddaughters, Weezie and Dorothy.

The family would like to thank the advocates Ken had in various capacities throughout his years-long struggle with dementia.

Most recently, Compassus Hospice Care, the staff at the Mississippi State Veterans Home and specifically his life-long friend Richard “Dickey” Copeland, who mentioned in the last weeks that he’d been trying to keep Ken comfortable and calm since the third grade, which was not an easy task.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Therese Catholic Church in Jackson Friday, May 10, at 11 a.m. with visitation an hour prior.

We invite you to join the family as they offer remembrances of Ken at 10:45 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the St. Richard Catholic School Capital Campaign: A Future Filled with Hope, care of Saint Richard Catholic School, 100 Holly Dr., Jackson, 39206.