In death comes ‘Hope’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 16, 2005

WOODLAND – Just a few yards away from Chief Joe White’s final resting place, life began anew Saturday.

Family, friends and dignitaries from throughout the Northampton County gathered mid-morning Saturday to plant a tree in memory of the late police chief who was slain in the line of duty in Rich Square five years ago.

&uot;On behalf of the White family, we are glad you could join us today,&uot; Carl White, the brother of Joe White, said Saturday.

Following his welcoming of visitors, Penny Beasley started the reason for planting a tree in memory of the chief.

&uot;This is a living memorial to Joe White,&uot; Beasley said. &uot;Trees have a soul and a spirit just like Joe does.&uot;

Following the statement of purpose, Northampton County Sheriff Wardie Vincent recognized the Woodland Police Department and the Color Guard to plant the tree.

The White Crepe Myrtle planed in the chief’s memory was given the name Hope.

&uot;As we nurture it and watch it grow, may it be an inspiration of hope, love, happiness and most of all abundance of wonderful memories for everyone who knew and loved my dear husband, Joe,&uot; Joyce White wrote. &uot;May the life he lived spread a ray of Hope for someone that he passed along the way.&uot;

The tree was planted by Woodland Fire Department member Phil Bowen along with the Color Guard of officers with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson Police Department and Woodland Police Department.

The tree planting, however, was only a part of the honor paid to Chief White as the family also announced the Joe White Scholarship.

Iris Wilson of the District Attorney’s Office announced the establishment of the scholarship on behalf of the family.

&uot;The family has decided there is something else Joe White would have us do,&uot; Wilson said.

She indicated the scholarship would be given to a graduate from a Northampton County high school that maintained a 3.0 average and had the desire to fill White’s shoes in law enforcement.

&uot;Joe White will remain in law enforcement because a child will be serving because of the scholarship,&uot; Wilson closed.

Chief White’s daughter, Cheryl White Carson, thanked everyone for coming and for their support of the White family.

After the ceremony’s conclusion, Jackson Police Officer Tony Burnette presented military boots to Terrance White, the late chief’s son.

Also involved in the presentation were Woodland Police Chief Don Ryan, Jackson Police Chief John Young, Northampton County Deputy George Reed and Garysburg Police Chief Raymond Vaughan.