Odessa White, Nationally acclaimed Homemaker, Educator, 92


Odessa White, a Seventh-day Adventist and educator, died on Nov. 23. She was 91.

Born Dec. 23, 1920, she was a native of Wharton, Texas and her husband Benjamin White, was a native of Navasota, Texas.

The couple came to California after World War II. She was baptized into the Market Street Seventh-day Adventist church in 1949 and later became a charter member of the Elmhurst Seventh-day Adventist church.

While raising a family, she attended Laney College in Oakland and earned a masters degree from San Francisco State University.

She taught home economics in the Oakland Public Schools and served as director for Golden Gate Academy Pre-School.

White was a skilled artisan, a master seamstress and wedding gown designer for the community with expertise in tatting, embroidery, quilting and crocheting.

She patented broom covers at age 84 that have sold nationally and have been displayed at weddings for the African broom jumping ritual.

A highly sought after family historian, she published three books: “The Scott Family Tree,” “The White Family Tree” and “Things I Remember.”

As a community activist, she successfully advocated for sidewalks. Additionally, she launched a pilot program of mathematics and sewing classes in her home. She also was avid world traveler.

Nearly all of her eight children obtained graduate degrees with outstanding careers.

Preceding her in death were her parents Walter and Jane Pines; husband of 31 years, Elder Benjamin White, Sr.; daughter Cynthia White; daughter-in-law Bernice White; three sisters and five brothers.

Nearly all of her eight children obtained graduate degrees with outstanding careers, including an Interpreter of Languages for the United States Air Force (Alvin of Washington), a nurse/teacher (Cynthia, deceased), business management/ occupational therapist (Gwendolyn, Atlanta, Georgia), a businessman (Benjamin II of Fairfield, California), business/finance manager (Arlene of Alabama), a pianist/professor (Janise of Los Angeles), one medical doctor (David of North Carolina) and a public administrator (Karen of San Bernardino).

She leaves to cherish her memories: two sisters – Annie Mae Livingston and Bertha Grant; one brother Frank Pines; four Daughters: Gwendolyn, Arlene (Faustinus Cetoute), Janise, and Karen; three Sons: Alvin, Benjamin (Vera) and David (Felice); 20 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, and many relatives and friends.

Funeral Services will be held Friday, Dec. 6, at 11 a.m., at C. P. Bannon Mortuary, 6800 International Blvd. in Oakland.


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