Nell Drake White Dodd, mother of Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director J. Robert White, dies Nov. 23
MONTGOMERY, AL — Nell Drake White Dodd, widow of Dr. J.R. White, Jr., and mother of Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director Dr. J. Robert White, died Nov. 23 in San Antonio, TX.
She was born in Winchester, KY, in 1920, daughter of the late V.P. Drake and Margaret Willis Drake. She was a graduate of Bethel College and the University of Kentucky with a degree in physical education.
In 1941 she married J.R. White and they moved to DeFuniak Springs, FL, where he served as pastor of First Baptist Church, and she as pastor’s wife. Later they served together at First Baptist Church in Ft. Pierce, FL, and at Main Street Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL.
In 1957 the couple moved to Montgomery, AL with their three children where they began a ministry at First Baptist Church that lasted 23 years. During these important years, Nell and J.R. were peacemakers in a tumultuous Montgomery. Nell taught elementary school at Forest Avenue, and supported the ministries at First Baptist by teaching youth and young children. They retired in 1979.
Nell was widowed in 1985, when Dr. White passed on to heaven. In 1988, Nell married Ernest W. Dodd, who was Sunday School Superintendent at FBC. He was a Veteran of WWII, where he served as a SeaBee. After the war, Bill worked for the State of Alabama, designing and building most of the bridges in Alabama. Bill passed away in May, 2001.
Nell was preceded in death by her sister, Margaret Drake Parks. Survivors are a brother, Vaughn P. Drake of Lexington, KY; daughters, Margaret White Flanders, Beverly White Irvin; and a son, Dr. J. Robert White. She is survived by seven grandchildren: Cindy Noll Houttekier, Steve Noll, Kathy White David, Karen White Lillard, Jennifer White Millage, Lt Col Bill Irvin, and David Irvin. She is also survived by 18 great-grandchildren.
Her funeral service will be at 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 1, with visitation beginning at 12:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 305 So. Perry St., Montgomery, 36104, in the Stakely Sanctuary where Dr. White preached for 23 years. The service will be conducted by Dr. J. Robert White and Kenny Hoomes, with burial to follow in Greenwood Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Bryan David, Jon Houttekier, Lt Col Bill Irvin, Stephen Lillard, Dr. Aaron Millage, and Steve Noll.
Flowers are appreciated, or in lieu of flowers, contributions are encouraged to the First Baptist Foundation or to Mission: Dignity at missiondignity.org.