Rusk resident Houston White will celebrate his 104th birthday Thursday.
Rusk City Councilman Ben Middlebrooks presented White a key to the city on Wednesday and the Houston White Pavilion, named in his honor, will be completed Thursday at the Rusk Lions Park.
According to the plaque on the pavilion, White was born in Colorado City on Jan. 12, 1913, and moved to Jacksonville with his family as a boy.
He later attended Jacksonville College and played on its basketball team, which won the State Junior College Championship. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Houston managed the Liberty Hotel in Jacksonville, the Thomas Rusk Hotel in Rusk and later served as chief claims officer for Rusk State Hospital. He was a deacon and Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church in Rusk for many years.
On Nov. 3, 1948, White led 18 business and professional men as charter members to form the Rotary Club of Rusk. He served as the club’s first secretary and has served multiple times as club president. White also was elected and served as governor of Rotary International District from 1969-1970.
White maintained perfect attendance of weekly Rotary meetings for more than 65 years. He is considered the personification of Rotary’s motto, “Service above self.”
- Staff Reports