A. Jean White, 64, cook in city schools, known as 'mom' to students

July 23, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

A. Jean White, known simply as "mom" to thousands of youngsters during the nearly 30 years she worked as a cook for city schools, died Saturday after she was struck by a car near her West Baltimore home.

Mrs. White, 64, served meals, advice and rules of etiquette at several Baltimore city schools from 1968 to 1995. Her last school was Southwestern High School, relatives said.

A small woman, Mrs. White was known for giving a stern arm tug to unruly youngsters just as quickly as she'd give them a peck on the cheek.

"She kept everyone on their toes," said Shandra Wilkens, a former student at Southwestern. "People looked to her for advice and friendship. Students probably considered her a friend more than an adult."

Usually attired in a starched white dress, Mrs. White would arrive school several hours before classes began to prepare meals, relatives said. After work, she'd hurry home and put just as much energy into the meal for her family.

Her specialties were meatloaf and an assortment of cakes, especially cheese, pound and pineapple upside-down.

"She was always willing to do something for you," said a son, Ray White Jr. of Baltimore. "Anybody who needed help, she was willing to do for."

A native of Isle of Wight County, Va., Mrs. White came to Baltimore in 1957 and lived in Edmondson Village for much of her life. She attended the former Community College of Baltimore and later worked as a nurse's aide.

Mrs. White was fatally struck by a sports utility vehicle Saturday morning as she crossed the intersection of Edmondson and Whitmore Avenue in West Baltimore. She was declared dead at the scene.

The driver was later arrested and charged with vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated. A candlelight vigil is being planned near the accident site.

Mrs. White, who lived in the 3900 block of Colborne Road, was known to most people in Edmondson Village and the neighboring communities. Daily meals at her house attracted friends, neighbors and family members.

"She was like a neighborhood mother," said a daughter, Andrea White of Baltimore. "She was a homemaker who was always there for everybody. Everybody was welcome in her house. If she cooked for us, she cooked for all of our friends."

Mrs. White was a member of the Golden Angels, a group in the New Testament Church on Fulton Avenue.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow at $H Christian Memorial Church, 2100 W. North Ave.

She is survived by her husband, Ray White, whom she married in 1950; two other sons, Tommie White of Baltimore and Michael White of Williamsburg, Va.; another daughter, Sandra White of Los Angeles; three brothers, William Blizzard, John Chapman and Timothy Chapman, all of Baltimore; three sisters, Pamela Chapman, Karen Chapman and Janet McLean, all of Baltimore; eight grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Pub Date: 7/23/98

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