Clarence Cameron White. This is his story ……as I knew it.
Born Clarence White, his journey started in 1926. Over the last, almost, 96 years this journey took him to the Virgin Islands and to many areas throughout these United States.
It all started on May 16, 1926, in the southern state of Louisiana this baby boy, born to Emma Drew White and Mr. White, was destined for greatness. A graduate of Wayne State University, with a Master’s in Housing Administration, Clarence climbed the federal ladder to come to the position of leadership directly under the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, DC.
As he enjoyed the fruits of his labor, a woman from New Mexico entered his life. This woman, my mother, was the Executive Director of the Zuni Housing Authority in Zuni, NM. She showed Clarence, I knew him as Mr. C, the beauty and mystique of New Mexico. He fell in love with the country……as well as with her.
They were married in Georgetown, in Washington, D.C. and shared their amazing life together for thirty plus years. They both worked in D.C. and enjoyed the life of commuters to their lovely home, first in Silver Springs, Maryland and then to Alexandria, Virginia. My mother soon traded in her commuting for the maintaining of their lovely home and ensuring Clay could hold up under his grueling schedule. They entertained the likes of senators, tribal leaders, and jazz artists. They enjoyed the evenings spent at the Kennedy Center watching the ballet Swan Lake and the afternoons spent at the National Gallery of Art. They had a beautiful life in the nation’s capital….but his love, Wynema, yearned for the beauty of New Mexico.
In October of 2004 they made it “home” to celebrate their daughter’s marriage and to embrace this country that was so loved.
Clay became a “country gentleman” and dear friend of his son-in-law, Tommy. Who spirited him to our farm, showed him how to “kind of” take care of the horses and sit on the portal admiring the mountains of New Mexico. And even eat and enjoy a little green and red chile!
The Lord called his name on May 2, 2022. He leaves behind caregivers who were like family….LaVonne who cared deeply for him. Diane who loved jazz and loved the Lord …..and prayed with him and for him. His dear friend Carl, his brother….in spirit. His stepdaughter who loved him so very much….and loved him even more for the love he shard with her mother. His son-in-law who was close as a “son” could be.
He also leaves behind his family….his legacy. His lovely and artistic niece LaNora, daughter of his beloved brother, Luther. His strong and capable nephew, Freddie, son of Fred and Shirley Williams, his adored and loved sister. And his grandnephew, Jarred Williams, who held a special place in his heart. All are better off because of his influence. And although he is not with us anymore, we know he is looking down on us ……always.