Former judge Monte White dies at 82

Monte C. White

Monte White, former Madison County Municipal Court judge, prosecutor and attorney, passed away Tuesday, July 14 at his residence.

He was 82.

White served the London and Madison County community for many years, according to his friends and colleagues.

Carole Meade worked for White during a portion of his 19-year tenure as judge of the Madison County Court, later re-named municipal court.

“He hired me in 1985 for municipal court,” said Meade, now an employee of the county prosecutor. “I worked for him for nine years before transferring to the prosecutor’s office.”

“He was a great guy to work for,” Meade continued. “A good boss, fair to people before him in court. Very professional. He was educated but down to earth to talk to. I really respected him.”

London’s safety-service director Steve Hume also worked with White. An inexperienced attorney at the time, Hume said he recalled Judge White as consistent and having a merciful side.

Hume said he started to work with White at the same time a big murder trial came before the court. Hume said cases before the municipal court and juvenile court fell into his lap, and he felt overwhelmed. White recognized Hume’s apparent predicament and helped him through.

“He was consistent with what he did on the bench,” Hume said of White. “He wanted to give them as much help as he could as opposed to punish them. “If you were willing to get counseling, he’d give more of a break.”

Hume and White also served in the London Kiwanis Club together, of which White was a past president. He pitched in willingly on club fundraisers, including selling Christmas trees on Lafayette Street and selling concessions out of the Kiwanis trailer at the fair.

Hume said White introduced coney sauce to their hot dog menu in an effort to boost sales.

“He’d work as much as he could,” Hume said.

London mayor David Eades recalls White as the city’s law director who kept things on an even keel. He served in that capacity for eight years.

“We always got along pretty good,” Eades said. “I thought he did a reasonably good job. He seemed to care about the city and served on ad hoc committees.”

Eades recalled White becoming a master gardener and worked hard to maintain flower beds around town.

Prior to coming to Madison County to practice law and serve on the bench, White, a native of Muskogee, Oklahoma, served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict.

Following military service, White used the G.I. Bill to study at Oklahoma State University, where he earned an electrical engineering degree. He worked on the Ballistic Missile Early Warning system in Tule, Greenland and worked for North American Aviation as an engineer on the lunar docking project.

Prior to serving as judge, he was an assistant prosecutor for Ron Parsons.

White is survived by his wife, Jeanne.

Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley