Robert Wayne White died on Aug. 25, 2017 at his home in Dallas with his wife of 60 years, Annelle; daughters, Stacy and Cheryl; niece, Kelly; and his beloved caregivers, at his bedside. Bob was born in 1935 in May.
Bob is survived by his wife, Annelle Burton White of Dallas and Brownwood; his daughters, Stacy Elizabeth White (Washington D.C.) and Cheryl White Kurtz (San Antonio); his granddaughters, Jennifer Elizabeth Kurtz (Brooklyn, New York) and McKenzie Annelle Kurtz (Klamath Falls, Oregon); his grandson, Landon Robert White (Washington D.C.); his brother, William Allen and wife Mozelle White; sister-in-law, Nelda White all of Austin; seven nieces; eight nephews; 12 grand-nephews and nieces; numerous cousins; and dear family friend Jill Ireland. He loved and cared for them all. He was especially a hero to his beloved wife and daughters. He never failed to 'circle the wagons' when they needed him.
Bob lived a life marked with career accomplishments on a global scale, great personal generosity for his extended family, and a life-long love for the Robertson family pioneer homestead in Comanche County.
Bob grew up in Brownwood. He played basketball and football for the Brownwood Lions. He graduated from Brownwood High School in 1954 and went to The University of Texas in Austin, where he was president of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and graduated with a degree in Petroleum Engineering.
While at UT, he married his Brownwood High School sweetheart, Annelle Rhea Burton, daughter of Landon Rhinehart Burton and Lovelle Thompson Burton. When they married, they made a vow to each other to travel the world. They did, with a lively, passion-filled marriage that spanned almost six decades on four continents.
Robert joined the ROTC while at university. He took his wife and baby daughter Stacy to Washington D.C. for his posting at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and then Mineral Wells. In his 10 years in the Army and the Reserves he served as a captain in the Army Corps of Engineers.
After his Army service, Bob worked in Abilene at his father’s oil company. During that time, he became the proud the father of Cheryl Landon and Robert Wayne, Jr. “Robby.” In 1964, the family joined the Mobil Oil Corporation in Hobbs, New Mexico. They then transferred to Midland, where the family lived for six years. It was there that Robby died in 1966 in a tragic accident.
During Bob’s 31-year career with Mobil he fulfilled his vow to Annelle to travel the world together. They lived in Houston 1972-1974, and then were transferred to corporate headquarters in New York City in 1974. During the energy crisis, Bob was called upon to represent Mobil at U.S. Congressional hearings, to explain the situation. At the age of 40, never having lived abroad before, Bob & Annelle were transferred to Tripoli, Libya, where he was the head of production in the Libyan oilfields. These were the last days of the Americans living in Gadhafi’s Libya, and Bob kept production running during tense times, like the Libyan-Egyptian border skirmishes.
After Libya, his career took them to Jakarta, Indonesia (1979-1983), New Orleans (1984), The Hague, The Netherlands (Mobil Producing Netherlands Inc., President and General Manager, 1985-1986) Lagos, Nigeria (Mobil Producing Nigeria, Chairman and Managing Director 1986-1988), back to New York City (Mobil Oil Corporation, General Manager Producing, 1989) and London, UK (Mobil North Sea Limited, Chairman and President 1989-1993). In Indonesia, Bob brought the P.T. Arun L.N.G. Plant on line as director of that company. He was General Manager of Mobil, Nigeria, where he oversaw thousands of barrels of crude production and the building of schools and clean-water wells for the Nigerian people. As General Manager for Mobil Oil in the Netherlands and later the United Kingdom, Bob directed North Sea oil operations. There was a 100 percent safety record under his watch. Bob named the new North Sea field Camelot. It always tickled him that "two kids from Brownwood" were presented to the Queen of England.
In 1993, Bob & Annelle returned to Texas where he was president of Mobil Exploration and Production U.S. Inc (MEPSI) in Dallas until his retirement. Upon retirement, one of his colleagues said, "Bob was a bigger than life person who brought so much value and impact to Mobil.”
Bob and Annelle accomplished their goal of seeing and living in many exotic locations. But Bob’s heart always brought him back to Brownwood, the Burton family place at Lake Brownwood, and his mother’s family homestead in Comanche County. Robert joined his brothers H.E. White Jr., and William Allen “Bill” White at the State Capital in Austin, at a ceremony presided over by Susan Combs, the Texas State Secretary, for their stewardship of the Robertson Family Farm. “The families honored at the Family Land Heritage Ceremony have made an enormous contribution to the heritage of rural Texas and the history of Texas agriculture,” Combs said. “The dedication of these families – especially those who have kept their properties in continuous production for more than 150 years – should be an inspiration to all Texans.” Following research and a trip to Italy, Bob planted arugula, olive trees, tomatoes, peaches, and apples, farming the land himself. His nephew, J.B. White of Austin, said he was not surprised Uncle Bob did not slow down after retirement because, "he was a doer, not a talker."
In retirement, Bob loved to golf, play cards and continue to travel the world with life-long friends and the “When we…” tribe, which included the late Putter and Roxie Jarvis of Brownwood.
Bob was predeceased by his son Robert Wayne "Robby" White Junior; his parents, Bertha Mae Robertson White and Horace Edward White; his brother, H.E. White Jr.; his sister-in-law, Gail Burton Oerke; and his nephew, James Morehead.
In the spirit of Bob’s generosity, the family suggests donations to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort, U.T. Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, or Good Samaritan Ministries of Brownwood. The family would like to especially thank our beloved caregivers, and Kelly White, Jill M. Ireland and Wayne Robertson- all of whom were with Bob in his final days.
A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at the ranch in Comanche County.