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White named Citizen of the Year

Posted by: tdt -


By Robin Scott


The Chamber of Commerce announced Dalhart’s 2009 Citizen of the Year at a banquet held Monday evening, April 20th at Rita Blanca Coliseum. Mr. Rodney Joseph White was honored at the banquet and named Dalhart’s 2009 Citizen of the Year.

Rodney was born in Lorraine, Texas to Deomie and J.E. "Red" White. He has two brothers, Tom White and Bobby White, who also reside in Dalhart. The Whites moved to Dalhart from Panhandle, Texas in 1958 when Rodney was just a small boy. Rodney and his brothers attended Dalhart High School, and Rodney graduated in 1969. He went on to attend Texas Tech University, earning his Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Marketing in 1973.

When Rodney graduated from college he returned to Dalhart and worked as a Marketing Foreman for Harold Hogue Farms from 1974 through 1986. In 1981, he and his wife purchased Anspacher Financial Services, where his wife had already been working for years. In 1987, Rodney joined her in the firm and continued to work there until 2006, when he and his brothers worked together with West Texas Dairy Construction.

Rodney and his wife, Miss Alice Marie Wilkin, married during XIT weekend in August 1977. They have two children, Danny and Katy. Katy and her husband, Jeromy Norris, have one daughter, Elly. Both of the White’s children graduated from Dalhart High School. When they graduated from Texas Tech University they became the family’s third generation of graduates from the University. Rodney is an avid Texas Tech fan, and holds season tickets to Red Raider football. He never misses a game. His children reside in Lubbock. Elly is already learning to put her sights on Texas Tech.

The First Baptist Church of Dalhart is the White’s church, where Rodney is a Deacon and member of the choir. He has a long history of assisting in church activities, including teaching children’s choir, building sets for various programs helping personnel committees, serving as chairman for two years on the committee, serving as chairman of the Deacons, chairman of the finance committee, as a trustee, member of the evangelism committee and the long range planning committee.

Along with Rodney’s love of his alma mater and the Red Raider football team, he enjoys music. He enjoys collecting music and attending concerts. He has DJ’d for the Dalhart High School dances for seven years. He volunteers his time and equipment and thoroughly enjoys doing so. Rodney is an avid sports fan and has used his love of sports in many fundraising endeavors. Friends describe Rodney’s tireless selfless acts of volunteerism as that of the Energizer Bunny, "He keeps going and going and going." Rodney’s

determination was shown during the building of the box office, concession stand, storage room and bathrooms at the baseball fields. He accidentally shot a nail through his thumb. He drove himself to the hospital and returned about 30 minutes later, going right back to work on finishing the project. Friends say, "He left his blood, along with his sweat and tears on that project." Rodney has spent so many hours in volunteer service for the community that one friend says, "It’s impossible to remember them all."

Rodney is described as a family man, one who dearly loves his wife and children, and enjoys spending all of the time he can with them. He and Alice now have even more reason to make the drive to Lubbock. They spend as much time as they can with their granddaughter Elly.

The long list of accomplishments that have benefited the City of Dalhart, include: Member of the Chamber of Commerce for many years, board member for the Chamber from 1990-94, Chamber President 1993, Member of the Rotary Club and President 1991-92, Special Gifts Chairman for the "Challenge 2000" fundraising drive for the Dallam/Hartley Counties Historical Association (XIT Museum), served four years on the Dalhart Economic Development Board, member of the Dalhart Board of Education 1993-2000 and 2006-07 and 2007-08, served as President for the DISD Board of Trustees 1995-2002, board member for Dalhart Federal Savings & Loan for the past three years, helped with the Dalhart Soccer League in 1982 and served as President for three years, coached Little League, coached Little Dribblers, Babe Ruth Girls Slow Pitch softball coach, Babe Ruth Baseball coach and board President for two years, and member of the Athletic Booster Club for many years and also served as President.

Other accomplishments include: organized and promoted the annual XIT Classic Bike Tour for five years, endless hours of work in the Athletic Booster Club. He assisted with any project that supported the students and raised funds, covered high school sports by writing articles for the Dalhart Texan and did play by play broadcasting for KXIT radio, provided sports updates three times daily, hosted a 30-minute radio sports talk show that interviewed coaches and athletes from all of the sports teams, mentored at Dalhart Middle School for the H.O.S.T. program, and attended many training sessions while on the Board of Education.

Mrs. Des Anderson announced to the guests at the Chamber of Commerce Banquet that the 2009 recipient of Citizen of the Year was Rodney White. Her knowledge of Rodney’s accomplishments and contributions to the community is vast, and she noted, "I do not know of anyone more deserving of this honor than Rodney White. I have lived in Dalhart for 17 years now and have never known of anyone more involved to make Dalhart a good place to live and raise a family. Everything I have seen Rodney do or become involved with was to better our community, to enrich our lives or our children’s lives. He has worked hard to improve our schools, businesses, organizations, to serve, volunteer, donate, to give of himself with no thought for, nor expectation of, any reward or recognition in return. He’s the real deal, a great role model for anyone no matter the age. If every citizen in Dalhart had the passion and dedication and gave all of themselves the way Rodney has, imagine the possibilities."

Rodney White’s accomplishments, dedication to Dalhart, and willingness to be a part of the process and progress of creating a wonderful town to live in, is the epitome of what the citizen of the year is supposed to be. Dalhart is fortunate to have Rodney as a member of the long list of valuable citizens who have left a legacy that inspires others to do the same.