February 9, 2005 -- posted 5:00 p.m. CDT
Blytheville, AR -- Those of us in the K8 Newsroom were saddened to tell you back in November about the death of a fellow journalist and friend, Blytheville resident Ed White. Now friends and family have set up a memorial fund in White's honor. It's being kicked off with a fundraising event this weekend.
The Westminster Village in Blytheville is hosting a chocolate fantasy on Sunday, February 13 from 2-4 p.m. For just $5, you can sample 30 varieties of chocolates, with the proceeds going to the Ed White Memorial Fund. Those who knew White say this event is as sweet as the person it's intended for.
For over 4 decades, the name Ed White has been synonymous with news.
"He loved the communications business, whether it was radio, television, he just loved it," said long time friend George Hubbard.
White started in the business back in 1974, getting his feet wet as news director at the Sudbury Broadcasting Radio Group in Blytheville. A few years later he was a fixture at KAIT, first as a reporter, and then making the almost unimaginable jump to news director.
"He really liked Blytheville, and of course we got tremendous coverage when he lived here, because he always brought a camera home with him," said Hubbard.
Eventually the long commute to Jonesboro sent White back to Blytheville, to the people he loved and his first love: radio.
"I'd be here sometimes 7, 8 o'clock at night and he'd still be here working," said co-worker Tom Hill. "He was just the consummate professional."
"If you ever saw a tornado or heard of a tornado, you could always turn on the radio or look at the T.V., Ed would be on the 5 radio stations that he managed. He would be up until 2, 3 o'clock in the morning, making sure that people in this area were safe," said Hubbard.
During the latter part of his life, White was mostly a behind the scenes man, except when it came to charitable events, like the St. Jude Radio/Cablethon. It's an event for which he was always willing to put his face out there for.
"He wasn't trying to just sell ads when he went out or sell advertising, he was more interested in what was best for the people he was working with, whether it was charities or businesses," said Hubbard.
"I always think about him as Mr. Citizen," said friend Mary Gay Shipley. "He was really a giver to the community."