Thomas Martin White, Jr. was born on March 28, 1948, at Orange Memorial Hospital in Orange, New Jersey to the late Thomas M. White, Sr., and the late Erma Clarke White. At an early age Thomas attended New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ where he sang in the choir with Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Warwick, under the direction of Cissy Houston.
Thomas affectionately known as Wizard or Tee attended Orange Public School System. This is where his love for football developed. He had a talent for singing, dancing, swimming, playing the bongos and exploring his creative side through art, fashion and singing. He collected swords, all sorts of music. He loved Tae Kwon Do, Karate and especially enjoyed cooking. He was a man of many hidden talents. To know him was to love him.
Thomas held various positions throughout his youth and adulthood. He became the first black manager of A&P food store during the Newark riots in 1967. He shined shoes for the local boys (mobsters), he modeled learned the trade of performing auto body work from his Aunt Virginia Clarke Johnson who owned and operated the Orange Auto Body shop. He became a master painter for Earl Scheib, an automotive paint and repair shop chain. He worked for Rheingold Beer company, sold clothes for Saks Fifth Avenue and was a black cowboy who loved horses. He would ride through local towns and cities.
In the early 60’s he sang with the group “Spring” performing and collaborating on the top chart 50 hits such as “Talk to The Rain”, “Look to Me Baby”, “You’re So Hard to Forget”. He would eventually leave the group and enter the field of protection and serve in the capacity of Housing Police Officer for the Orange Hosing Projects where he was respected by all-Orange Police Officer, Security Officer and Special police Officer for Newport News, VA.
Thomas traveled the world and hung out with the likes of Joe Frazier aka “Smoking Joe” the heavyweight boxer, Dione Warwick, BB King, Jayne Kennedy, Nancy Wilson, Marvin Gaye, David Ruffin, Patti Labelle, John Amos, Randy Harris, , Richard Pryor and Pam Grier just to name a few, If you ever has the opportunity to visit his home in Smithfield, Virginia it was there a shrine was created to all the people he had encountered and places he had traveled. He had friends of all nationalities and would share stories and mentor anyone who would listen. His favorite saying was “I’ll tell you what I know”. He provided wors of wisdom to anyone who would listen.
Tommy became a dad at an early age to his eldest daughter Christine when he was a freshman at Orange High school with the late Patty Meador. Later he met and married the late Rita Bragg White and to this union Thomas, III and Kimberle’ were born. Tommy would later reconnect with Patty Meador and his third daughter Kim was born. Several years later he would meet and marry kay and to this union his son William was born.
On the afternoon of Tuesday May 23, 2023, Tommy gained his wings at Hospice House in east Stroudsburg, PA. He leaves to mourn his only surviving aunt Cleopatra Clarke Savedge, Courtland, Virginia, his children; Christine White, Smithfield, VA) Thomas “Malik" White (Lisa) Florida, Kimberle James (the late Robert) East Stroudsburg, PA, Kim Walker (Ronnie) Scotch Plains, NJ and William White, Virginia, two special godchildren who called him dad, Myron Godwin and Darlene Nowlin; grandchildren, Michael Conwell (Leann) South Jersey, the late Courtney Carter Smithfield, VA, Kenneth grant, Jr, South Jersey, Jaquil White and Jada White, East Orange , New, Jersey, Davelle Byrd, Washington, Chezre Byrd, East Stroudsburg, PA and great grands; Milani, Michael, Myla, Jordynn and Kameron.
THIS KING LEAVES BEHIND A LEGACY OF LOVE
A Celebration of Life Service will be held 1:00 pm Saturday June 3, 2023 at Mount Sinai Baptist Church, Ivor Virginia. Viewing will take place from 12pm to 1pm before the service begins. Interment will follow the service in Mount Sinai Baptist Church Cemetery. Please keep the White Family in your prayers.