Wednesday February 21st, 2024 1:52PM
Whitfield Funeral Home
Little Davenport
Hamilton Mill

Richard Davis White

Obituary Date: Thursday, February 1, 2024

Richard Davis White of Gainesville, Georgia passed away on February 1st, 2024.

Rich was born on October 5, 1949 to Hank and Jeanette White in Olean, NY.  As the youngest of three children, Rich and his family relocated to Gainesville, GA when he was just 5 years old. As the family put down roots in Gainesville, they decided to build a home on Lake Lanier. Always curious, young Rich was thrilled to ride on the lap of the man grading the property. Unbeknownst to Rich at the time, the bulldozer operator would one day become his father-in-law. 

Always a go-getter, Rich learned early that hard work would lead to success. His first job, at age nine, was delivering newspapers by bicycle at 5am. Another early job for Rich was working as a lifeguard at the Chattahoochee Country Club. While hard at work one day, a young Vickie stopped by the pool with a friend and caught his eye. He caught her heart instantly and Rich and Vickie were married on September 10, 1971. Vickie told him at their wedding, “I promise you it won’t be easy, but it will be one hell of a ride!” We think Rich would agree it was for the next 52 years.

Rich attended Gainesville Junior College and continued his education at the University of Georgia, graduating with a degree in Finance. His first professional opportunity as a loan officer at First National Bank came quickly after he graduated. Over the years, he moved up in the company to eventually become the President and CEO.

Rich was well known for the many volunteer and board roles he held in Gainesville. These included President of the Gainesville/Hall County Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Hospital Authority Board, was the first Chair of the combined Gainesville College and University of North Georgia Foundation, was a past member of the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board and participated in the Leadership Georgia training program. His contributions to the community lead to Rich being honored as Jaycee Young Man of the Year in 1989. The pride in this honor was surpassed in 2010 when his son, Davis White, received the same award. 

One particularly special position came about when friend and fellow community volunteer, Jim Mathis, asked Rich to help start The Georgia Mountain Food Bank in 2008. Rich helped the food bank grow from humble beginnings to the 20,000 square foot facility that now stands on Calvary Industrial Drive.

Aside from his professional and community successes, many in Gainesville also remember Rich as one of the most sought-after dance partners at Gainesville Civic Center’s Thursday night summer dances. Rich had several other hobbies, including slalom skiing, windsurfing, scuba diving, attending the drag races, sailing around the British Virgin Islands, driving his Master Craft boat and many leisurely nights with Vickie watching sunsets over Lake Lanier from their hot tub.

Using the valuable skills he learned from his father, Rich could often be found pouring concrete, building mantles, and working on several home projects. One such project saw him design his own wine cellar and theater room. He earned his nickname “Faux Pa” after successfully painting both rooms.

Rich left us while listening to the Eagles “Peaceful Easy Feeling” one of his favorites and a perfect ending to a storied life.

Rich is preceded in death by his parents, Hank and Jeanette White, brother, Mic White, and Vickie’s parents, J.D. and Helen Gibbs. He is survived by his wife Vickie, sons Davis (Amy), and Russell (Bex), granddaughters, Lauren and Lindsay, and grandsons, Max and Harrison. He is also survived by his brother, John (Ann), brother-in-law Scott (Jennifer) Gibbs and nephews David Gibbs, Judson (Allison) White and niece Dr. Ransey White (Rett) Boyd.

The family will hold a private burial. A Celebration of Rich’s Life will be held on Saturday, February 17th at the family residence from 3-6 PM. Donations in memory of Rich may be made to the Georgia Mountain Food Bank at 1642 Calvary Industrial Dr., Gainesville, GA 30507 or The Richard D. White Community Fund at the North Georgia Community Foundation 340 Jesse Jewell Pkwy, Suite 605, Gainesville, GA 30501. 

Funeral Home
Memorial Park North Funeral Home Riverside Chapel
989 Riverside Drive , Gainesville, GA 30501