Margaret Sue White

Published 8:31 am Thursday, June 11, 2015

Margaret Sue White, 77, of Jonesborough, died Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at Johnson City Medical Center after a lengthy illness. Sue was born October 26, 1937, in Johnson City, Tenn., and grew up near Blountville, where her parents, William Beryl and Elsie Mae Hood, raised their six children and a niece. The Hood family didn’t have a lot of money, but they had a comfortable home, plenty to eat, including a chicken every Sunday, and clothes made lovingly by Mae’s hand. In 1963, Sue married Norman Meade. They had two girls, Dawn and Kelli. Norman died in 1972, and for four years, Sue raised her girls alone. She was a steadfast presence and an example of strength and courage. Being a single mother couldn’t have been easy, but if she was scared, her girls never saw it. In 1976, she grew weary of being alone. She was a beautiful woman and had many suitors over the years, but none of them was “the one.” So Sue turned to God. “Lord, I love my girls, but they’re not enough,” she prayed. “I need a companion. I’ve looked everywhere, but I can’t find him. You’re going to have to send him to my door.”
On a Saturday morning in mid-March that year, Kenneth White knocked on her back door. A building contractor and the brother of a co-worker, Ken was there to give Sue an estimate on a room she hoped to add to her home. They had their first date that night and immediately fell in love. A week later, she proposed, and two weeks after that, they wed on April 2, 1976. That marriage gave Dawn and Kelli a daddy and an older brother, Rick, as well as two new grandparents and a family full of loving aunts, uncles and cousins. Sue and Ken lived a simple and love-filled life. She worked for many years as a nurse, caring for people from infants in a newborn nursery to the elderly in nursing homes. She ended her career at Johnson City Urological Clinic, where she worked for nearly three decades until she retired in 2000. Sue loved God. She was saved at Centenary Methodist Church in Blountville and was the living embodiment of Christ’s commandment to love everyone. Most of all, she loved her family, especially her husband, children and grandchildren. In 2005, Sue was diagnosed with lung cancer and COPD. The cancer was removed along with part of her left lung that spring, and she remained cancer-free until this year, when she was diagnosed with a new cancer. It was the worsening COPD, however, that took her from her family Tuesday evening. Sue was preceded in death by her parents, her first husband and her brother, James Dutton “Jay” Hood.
Survivors include her husband, Kenneth White, of the home; one son, Rick White and his wife, Jana, of Moncks Corner, S.C.; two daughters, Dawn Meade Davenport, of Johnson City, and Kelli Jones and her husband, Mark, of Gray; three sisters, Maxine Forbes, of Knoxville, Dean Johnson, of Kingsport,; and Jean Johnson, of Warren, Ohio; one brother, Herman Hood, of Kennesaw, Ga.; her cousin, Helen Mitchell, of Bowmantown; eight grandchildren, Kristen Erbe, of Richmond, Va., Brittany White, of Virginia Beach, Va., Heather Openshaw, of Gilbert, Ariz., Nick Jones, of Gray, Chris Jones, of Gray, Garrett Ponce, of Lawton, Okla., Beatrice Davenport, of Johnson City, and Ian Chandler Davenport, of Johnson City; one great-grandchild, Cooper Openshaw, of Gilbert, and dozens of nieces and nephews, many of whom refer to Sue as “my second mother.”
The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 p.m. on Friday, June 12, 2015, at Tetrick Funeral & Cremation Services in Johnson City. A Celebration of Life Service will follow at 7 p.m. Burial will be at Jones Cemetery in Unicoi at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 13. The family will meet at the funeral home at 10 a.m. and travel in procession to the cemetery. Pallbearers will be family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sue’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Memories and condolences may be shared and viewed online at
Tetrick Funeral & Cremation Services, 3001 Peoples Street, Johnson City, TN 37604, (423) 610-7171, is honored to serve the White family.

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