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Al White

Al White

February 12, 1928 - July 20, 2020
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Obituary

Alfred Popkess “Al” White, 92, passed away on July 20, 2020, at his home in Hot Springs, Arkansas surrounded by his family. Al was born on February 12, 1928 in Little Rock, Arkansas to the late Alfred Popkess White, Sr. and Mary Nell White. Al spent his early years in Russellville and Pine Bluff, Arkansas and he graduated from the Columbia Military Academy in Columbia, Tennessee in 1946. He then attended the University of Arkansas, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and received a BBA in 1951. While serving in the United States Army, Al achieved the rank of 1st Lieutenant acting as a cryptographic officer in Washington D.C. during the Korean War. In 1954, he returned to Pine Bluff and began his over 50-year career in the cotton buying business alongside his father.

Al’s lifelong passion was classic Jazz music. While other children idolized movie stars and professional athletes, Al idolized Jazz musicians. He traveled the world listening to and promoting Jazz, including an annual trip to Odessa, Texas to attend the West Texas Jazz Party for over 50 years. In 2000, Al published his book, Jazz Party, a tribute to all the men and women who brought him endless joy through music. He was later inducted into the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame in 2002 for his dedication and efforts in promoting Jazz music. Al cherished the countless friendships and stories Jazz brought into his life, and you would be hard-pressed to find a classic Jazz musician who could not share a fond memory of Al White.

Throughout his life, Al was very active in his Church and community, serving twice as Senior Warden at Trinity Episcopal Church, President of the Pine Bluff Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. Al also served as President of the Arkansas-Missouri Cotton Trade Association, as a board member of the American Cotton Shippers Association and remained highly active in the Arkansas Area SAE Alumni Association where he was recognized as a True Gentlemen in 2005. With God’s Grace, Al was a friend of Bill W’s and considered his greatest accomplishment to be his commitment to remaining sober for over 48 years.

Al had many great qualities, but the most revered and endearing was his love for his family and friends, especially for his wife of over 63 years. Al was extremely proud of his two children and adored his four grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister-in-law, Rita Rowell Hale; his niece, Kristin Thomas; and cousins, Lyn Drake and Jay Dickey.

He is survived by his wife, Ann Rowell White; his son, Alfred Popkess White, III, of Little Rock, Arkansas; daughter, Allyson White Lewis of Jonesboro, Arkansas; and four grandchildren, Alfred Popkess “Kes” White, IV (Dr. Amy Hilliard White) and Samuel Mason White (Dr. Sophie Blue Hollenberg), all of Little Rock, and Abby Ann and J. Mark Lewis of Jonesboro. Also surviving are his niece, Erika Breshears; grand-nephew, Drake Breshears; grandnieces, Ashton Breshears and Alexa Nolan; and cousins, Jessica and Ted Drake and Barbara and Ed McCain.

There will be a private service held Saturday, July 25 at Trinity Episcopal Church, officiated by the Reverend C.B. Baker, followed by an open invitation for all family and friends to celebrate Al’s life from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Pine Bluff Country Club. A second celebration will be held at his home in Hot Springs on Sunday, July 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, 703 West 3rd, Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71603. Arrangements by Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors.
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Service Details

  • Reception

    Location
    Pine Bluff Country Club
    Address
    1100 West 46th Avenue
    PINE BLUFF, AR 71603
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    There will be a reception on Saturday afternoon from 3:30-5:00 p.m at the Pine Bluff Country Club. The second celebration will be at the White residence in Hot Springs on Sunday, July 26 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. All state Covid-19 protocols will apply.

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Jim and Ann and Lots of Love! Cortney and Kevin Higbee sent flowers to the family of Al White.
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JA

Jim and Ann

Posted at 06:43pm
We love you Ann and are so sad for the loss of our wonderful Al. We will see you soon. Jim and Ann
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Jim and Ann purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Al White. Send Flowers

LH

Lots of Love! Cortney and Kevin Higbee

Posted at 06:24pm
We will miss Al so very much, but the wonderful memories from Farr Shores and afternoon is all that we think of and smile!
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Lots of Love! Cortney and Kevin Higbee purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Al White. Send Flowers

CJ

Carolyn and Maury Joe

Posted at 03:30pm
Our deepest sympathy to the family.
LR

Linda Rauls

Posted at 01:52pm
Our sincerest Condolences to the family!! Jackie n Linda Rauls
PR

Pam Stone Ratliff

Posted at 12:06pm
Ann and Family please know that the Stone family loved Mr. White and will remember his many contributions in this life. He will be missed and we send you our deepest sympathy.
Pam, Patt, Roger and Phillip Stone (Abe's crew)
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