Personal remarks from Vicki Smith White:
Thank you all for coming today to honor Jerry. I know he would have been very pleased to know so many people loved him. If any of you knew him for very long, you probably heard him say, “I’m not in the world to win the world, I’m in the world to win Christ and overcome the world.” He never considered himself an evangelist, although the example of his life caused many to recognize God and turn their lives over to Him, as Jerry had done. He had a special anointing to minister the love of God in a way that healed hearts and ignited a sense of purpose and destiny in God’s people.
Many of you may not have known about Jerry’s health issues, and that’s because he didn’t complain. He worked through the pain, he rallied past the weakness, and he pressed on in the purposes of God, no matter how he felt. Jerry White was not only a wonderful husband and a caring father, he was a remarkable man. Whatever he put his hand to prospered because of God’s gifts and grace on his life. I know when I married him some of my friends were envious that I had a man whose two favorite hobbies were making jewelry and making wine. What a guy!
Jerry knew a lot of stuff. He knew how to sew, and he made beautiful quilts for his family and friends. He crocheted afghans and lap robes. He could build a car – and did – from scratch, and one of his finest accomplishments was the ’27 Roadster he put together, even creating the mold for the body. He patterned and built furniture, and even wrote poetry and drew pictures. For several years, I never asked him a question that he didn’t have an answer for. One of my favorite memories is the time when I was lying awake one night and began thinking weird thoughts. I woke him up about 2 in the morning and asked, “Jerry, how do you make an igloo?” Now I don’t really know where the question came from, but he had the answer. He began to explain in great detail how you’d cut the blocks of ice and put it all together. Amazing.
Ours was truly an ideal marriage. It was the kind of marriage that is the catalyst for either reconciliation or divorce. Other couples would observe us and say one of two things: “That’s what I want! Let’s work to get there.” Or they’d say, “That’s what I want, but I can’t have it with you.” Jerry and I never wanted to be anywhere but with each other, and for almost 16 years, that’s where we were. We worked together, ate together, played together, went fishing together, traveled together, studied the Word of God together; and when the Lord made it clear He had something for us to do, we did that together, too. Over the past 10 years of Freedom’s Way Ministries, God has taken us to some amazing places and worked some amazing miracles in us and through us along the way.
He was a generous man and knew how to give good gifts. He loved to make people laugh, and his “Jerry-isms” will live on and on I’m sure. Jerry loved music and tried to play a lot of different instruments, mostly unsuccessfully. Then one Sunday, he said, “God, if you’ll teach me music, I’ll honor You with it every day of my life.” That night at church, a man walked up to him and put two harmonicas in his hand and said, “God told me to give you these.” From the moment he put it to his lips, Jerry was a natural. Taught by God, he could play anything he could hear in his head. And yes, he honored God with his music every day.
Jerry outlived his “expiration date” many times over, and we both knew that his life was in God’s hand. We have always trusted God, and I still do. I believe that no one leaves here one moment before he has completed his purpose in God. We can run from it, we can delay it, and we can even deny it – but God will have His way. His plans will not be disappointed. I know that Jerry White completed his final assignment last Wednesday night when he brought a powerful message on the Father heart of God and ministered the Father’s love to a group of 50 men in Newport, Washington, who are working to turn their lives around. Afterward, as we were getting ready to leave, his heart simply stopped beating. There was no heart attack, no pain, no suffering and no lingering death. He went out doing what he loved to do. Jerry White finished well. May God bless you all and lead you into that same overcoming finish. As my granddaughter Traci said, “Jerry gets to hang out with his best friend Jesus every day now, and that must be a party!”