Joe Tom White
Joe Tom White
June 2, 1939 - August 12, 2019
Joe Tom White, passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 80 on August 12, 2019 after a brief illness.
Joe Tom was born in Vernon, TX, on June 2, 1939. He graduated from Vernon High School in 1957 and married his high school sweetheart, Judith Karen Daniel on June 20, 1959. He earned his bachelors degree in Animal Husbandry from Midwestern University in 1961, then entered the U.S Army where he served as a 1st Lieutenant.
For decades, Joe Tom was a part of waking up for Texomans, always sure to offer up some funny story, community event, or his take on current politics. It was that down- home, quick wit, and outlook on life that listeners and viewers came to love.
Joe Tom’s instantly recognizable voice was heard over Wichita Falls airways for over 60 years. He began his career in radio at KWFT in 1959 while attending Midwestern University. The same year he married his beloved high school sweetheart, Judy, who he was married to for 52 years. The two of them founded and co-owned his ad agency, Joe Tom & Co., for over 25 years. He broadcasted for multiple local radio and tv stations throughout his career. He continued his broadcasting career hosting Texoma Country Morning on KFDX TV-3 through August 2, 2019.
In 2016, he was inducted into the North Texas Museum of History as a North Texas Legend. In 2015, he was inducted to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, being the first Wichitan to receive that honor. He was a 50+ year Master Mason, long-time member of the Maskat Shrine Clown Unit, a long-time promoter/organizer of the Founder Lions Club T/O Fair and Wichita Falls Gun and Knife Show. Joe Tom was instrumental in bringing and promoting the Wichita Falls Ranch and Farm Expo to this area. He was instrumental in creating the Texas Game Warden’s Association, was on the Board of Directors of Operation Game Thief, founding board member of The North Texas Rehab Center and recipient of the Silver Saddle. He was a long-time board member/officer of Northwest Texas Field & Stream Assoc., Campfire USA, Maskat Shrine, W.F. Railroad Museum, and many other community organizations. He and longtime friend Earl Sargent lead fundraising efforts to develop the FFA program at Rider HS. He was a longtime friend of 4-H, FFA and was honored by the County Agents Association in 2016 as Man of the Year for District 3. He was awarded The Legion of Honor Award by The Chapel of Four Chaplains in recognition of his service to all people regardless of race or faith. Joe Tom has received the Spirit of Texoma Award, Texas Outdoor Writers Assoc. Conservationist of the Year, Texas Game Warden Association Advisory Councilman of the Year, Wichita County Friend of 4-H, and Personality of the South Award. He received the Mayor’s Award for his contribution to the bicentennial celebration of Wichita Falls, and recognized as “The Voice” for his many years as editor of the NWTF&S “Family Sportsman” publication. He was also recognized for his long time Distinguished Service to the Kiwanis Clubs of America. Joe Tom was a member of Bible Baptist Church. There are countless other awards and organizations he was honored to receive and be a part of. Joe Tom spent his career promoting his community and the people living in it.
He was preceded in death by his parents, R.S. and Neva White; his beloved wife, Judy (Daniel) White; and nephew Aaron Karr. He is survived by his two daughters, Jody Ann White Lyons and partner Don Keeter of Frisco, TX; Jill Elaine White Wilson and husband Greg of Wichita Falls, TX; grandchildren Seth Lyons and fiancé Marisa Chandler; Ben Grimm-Wilson, Josh Grimm, Cole Lyons, Doug Wilson, Sarah Keeter, and Jacob Keeter, great-grandchildren, JT Fernandez, Lexi Keeter, and Savannah Lyons. Also, sister-in-law Vicki (Daniel) Karr, husband Larry; and great niece Haleigh Karr; along with countless other friends he deeply loved as part of his Tribe.
Joe Tom lived for family, friends, and community. His celebration of life will be Saturday, August 17th, at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls, with visitation Friday, August 16th at 6:00 p.m. at Lunn’s Colonial Funeral Home in Wichita Falls. Burial will be in Crestview cemetery. The family requests memorials be made in his honor to Hospice of Wichita Falls.