James Harrison White
James Harrison White
  • July 27, 1940 - July 25, 2017
  • Midlothian, Virginia

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James Harrison White, fondly known as Jimmy or Little Jimmy White was born in his parents' bedroom on the Northside of Richmond on July 27, 1940. He often said that day was the hottest day recorded for that date at the time. He unexpectedly "escaped the surly bonds of the earth" on July 25, 2017. May flights of angels sing him to his rest.
Jimmy is survived by his beloved and devoted wife, Pat; two nephews, one niece, three great nieces, two great nephews, and one great-great nephew; his sister-in-law, Shirley A White and his mother-in-law, Luisa T. Melancon. He is also survived by a myriad of caring friends; his very special extended family and partner, Connor White, in Vermont, and three precious cats who will search for him for a very long time. He was pre-deceased by his parents, Mary Elizabeth Harrison White and Stafford M. White, and his much older and uglier brother, Stafford M. White, Jr.
A graduate of Chandler Junior High and the old John Marshall High School in Richmond, he was a member of the corps at Virginia Tech and a member of the Army Reserves. He was an avid Hokie fan and took great joy in making dollar bets on Hokie football games. He had a long career as a stock trader in the brokerage industry, working on Wall Street in Manhattan, in Washington and for various brokerage firms in Richmond and Baltimore. Other than trading activities, he most enjoyed mentoring the young people who shared the trading desk with him. He was famous for leading them in a spontaneous and rousing rendition of Shall We Gather at the River.
At the age of 49, Jimmy began to lose his central vision due to a rare form of macular degeneration. His fighting spirit never wavered and he was so talented at disguising his disability that many people forgot he had it. His many interests included wildlife photography; growing bonsai and flowering plants, especially roses; sharing his plants and cuttings; watching CNBC and a huge variety of old movies; researching various stocks; Par 3 golf (he made two holes in one in one 12 month period while in his 60's); entertaining his large and varied collection of friends; creating outrageous costumes at Halloween (usually of the feminine persuasion), and, most of all spending time with his Pat. He was in the habit of leaving a flower and an illustrated love note for her when she woke up in the morning. They traveled to Europe; New England; and beaches, thoroughbred horse racing tracks and casinos up and down the East Coast. He was proud to say they made nine trips to New Orleans. In his later years he loved spending time in what he called their little cottage in also known as the Brandermill White House.
Jimmy and his Patrizia met in May 1983 and were married on August 27, 1988. They were simply each other's soulmate in every sense of the word. Partners in all ways, they managed an Ebay business, selling antique china that they loved to find at estate sales and auctions. They started a successful pet sitting company for cats in 2016. They brought each other joy and they loved each other well.
Pat and Jimmy spent the last 18 days of his life in ICU and PCC at Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center. There are no words to explain or express their gratitude for the compassionate care they received from everyone there. Jimmy was studying the stock market and making new friends up until almost his very last breath.
He will be remembered for his insatiable taste for pizza, his quick and subtle wit, his enduring love of Pat, being a true Renaissance man, his thirst for learning about many topics, his ability to give advice without being judgmental, and his crazy outfits which usually consisted of mismatched, plaid pajama pants and his favorite robe. He always treated everyone with respect - young and old of every station in life. If you look in Webster's for "one of a kind", you will see a photo of Jimmy, an absolutely unforgettable man. He will be fondly and deeply missed by all who knew him.
When you get where you are going, build a fire, sweetheart. Build it really big so that I can find you.
Pat requests that no flowers be sent. If you want to make a donation in remembrance of Jimmy, please consider the Virginia Foundation for the Blind, Make A Wish Foundation, or the Richmond Animal League.