The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 15, 2013

Clements road named for beloved volunteer

Everlasting tribute

By Karen Middleton

— Her friends and husband say it’s not the sort of attention the late Angie White sought during her lifetime as an active volunteer with Clements High School.

But at the same time, they say the naming of a school road, Angie White Way, is a fitting way to remember her service.

Angie White died Feb. 4, after a 13-month battle with ovarian cancer.

Kelley Smith, who says she and Angie were best friends from the sixth grade on, remembered her as “the hardest working woman at Clements High School for the past 17 years.”

“She gave untold hours of volunteer service to the athletic programs, the PTA, the Beta Club — just about any organization at the school,” said Smith.  “She worked when no one was looking. She never asked for praise. She once told me, ‘I just want to serve.’ And serve she did.”

Smith said that two weeks after Angie’s death the Clements Athletic Association voted to name the road that circles the Clements High School campus Angie White Way.

White’s widower, Ronnie White, established two scholarships in his wife’s name with the help of Seven Mile Post Road Church, which took up a special collection.

“I doubt she would have wanted it (the road naming) — she didn’t seek the limelight,” said White. “But, still, it’s a great honor. She invested a lot of time and energy at the school as a volunteer and as a student.”

White said he and his two sons, Austin, 22, and Cole, 18, are “doing very well.”

“She prepared us very well,” he said. “But that’s not to say we don’t miss her.”

Clements High School Principal Keith Hairrell said Angie’s service to others made her instantly likeable.

“My first day on campus, the first time I walked into my office, she was the first person I saw,” said Hairrell. “She introduced herself and instantly befriended me. She made me feel comfortable and welcome.

“She said, ‘If there’s anything I can do for you, if I can help you in any way, you can call on me.’ That was her way of life, whether in the community, the school or church — service to others.”

Toward the end of the school year, on annual Class Day, Ronnie White and his son Cole awarded the first Angie King White Memorial Scholarship to Adam Smith, Kelley Smith’s son, and Holly Evans.

“It was a tearful time when (the winners) were announced,” said Smith. “Both children loved Angie dearly.”

While Angie had earned an elementary teaching degree from Athens State University and a master’s degree from Alabama A&M, she stopped teaching second grade in the Athens City system after a few years to devote her time to her family and volunteer service, Smith said.

This has been a lonely year for Smith since her best friend’s passing.

“We graduated from Clements High School together, were in each other’s wedding, were pregnant at the same time and were in childbirth classes together,” said Smith. “We volunteered at the school together and many of the same projects. She was my best friend, my soul sister, my confidante, and my boy’s other mother.”