A funeral Mass for Deacon Otis White was celebrated June 1 at St. Augustine Church in St. Louis. Deacon White, 90, died May 25.
Born in Liberty, Miss., Deacon White was sent to St. Louis at age 14, with only a fourth-grade education, to work and retrieve the deed to the family farm. He married Harriett (Price) White in 1946, and they had two children. Deacon White worked for 21 years for the Wabash Railroad (Norfolk & Western) and then 23 years for the Adjutant General Publication Office before retirement. He also worked at Greenbriar Hills Country Club. In retirement he earned his GED and learned to play a piano.
Deacon White was ordained to the diaconate in 1998 by then-Archbishop Justin Rigali. Deacon White was assigned to the parish of St. Augustine and served there until his retirement in 2003.
At St. Augustine, he performed the sacramental functions of a deacon, specifically assisting at Mass, conducting wake services and attending funerals, leading Liturgy of the Word and Communion Services when needed, performing baptisms, conducting benedictions and leading Stations of the Cross. Deacon White worked extensively in parish-based ministries with a focus in supporting those in need through the St. Vincent DePaul Society. He was known throughout the community as a man of deep prayer and was frequently called upon lead prayer services and to lead and walk with others in their prayer journeys.
Survivors include his wife, Harriett; son Otis and daughter Vera; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis.