Robert Wayne White obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Robert Wayne White

February 28, 1935 - August 25, 2017

Obituary


Robert Wayne White, Retired Mobil Oil Executive

Robert Wayne White died on August 25, 2017, at his home in Dallas, with his wife of 60 years, Annelle White, and his daughters Stacy Elizabeth White and Cheryl Landon White-Kurtz, and his niece Kelly White at his bedside. Robert was born in 1935 in May, Texas. He 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. and his sister-in-law Gail Burton Oerke.

Robert lived a life marked with career...

Robert Wayne White, Retired Mobil Oil Executive

Robert Wayne White died on August 25, 2017, at his home in Dallas, with his wife of 60 years, Annelle White, and his daughters Stacy Elizabeth White and Cheryl Landon White-Kurtz, and his niece Kelly White at his bedside. Robert was born in 1935 in May, Texas. He 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. and his sister-in-law Gail Burton Oerke.

Robert lived a life marked with career accomplishments on a global scale, great personal generosity for his extended family, and a life-long love and care for the Robertson family pioneer homestead in Comanche County, Texas.

Robert grew up in Brownwood, Texas. He played basketball and football for the Brownwood Lions, sparking a lifetime love affair with Texas football - high school, college and pro. He graduated from Brownwood High School in 1954. He attended the University of Texas in Austin where he was president of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and obtained a degree in Petroleum Engineering.

While at UT, he married his Brownwood High School sweetheart, Annelle Rhea 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 to Washington DC for his posting at Fort Belvoir, VA and then Mineral Wells, TX. In his ten years in the Army Reserves he rose to the level of captain in the Army Corps of Engineers.

After college, Bob worked two years in Abilene with his older brother H.E. in their father's oil company. In 1964, he joined the Mobil Oil Corporation in Hobbs, New Mexico. He was then transferred to Midland, where the family lived for six years. It was there that Robby died in 1966 in a tragic accident.

During Robert's thirty-one year career with Mobil he had many years to fulfill his vow to Annelle, to travel the world together. They lived in Houston from 1972-1974, where Robert's job was in the gas department. When Robert transferred to corporate headquarters in New York City in 1974, the family relocated to Westport, CT. During the energy crisis at that time, Robert was called upon to represent Mobil at US Congressional hearings, to explain the situation. In 1977, Robert got his first international posting. At the age of 40, never having lived abroad before, Robert and Annelle were transferred to Tripoli, Libya, where Robert was the head of production in the Libyan oilfields. These were the last days of the Americans living in Gadhafi's Libya, and Robert kept production running during tense times, like the Libyan-Egyptian border skirmishes.

After Libya, Robert's career took him to Jakarta, Indonesia (1979-1983), New Orleans, LA (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 Manger Producing, 1989) and London, UK (Mobil North Sea Limited, Chairman and President, 1989-1993). In Indonesia, Robert brought the P.T. Arun L.N.G. Plant on line, as director of that company. Robert was General Manager of Mobil, Nigeria, where he oversaw the exploration and production of crude oil 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, Robert directed North Sea oil operations. There was a 100 percent safety record under his watch. Robert named the North Sea field Camelot in honor of the regional history. It always tickled him that "two kids from Brownwood" were presented to the Queen of England.

In 1993, Robert and Annelle returned to Texas, where Robert was president of Mobil Exploration and Production U.S., Inc. (MEPSI) in Dallas until his retirement. Throughout his career, Robert was a champion of diversity in the workplace and the promotion of women to ever increasing managerial roles. Upon retirement, one of his colleagues said, "Bob was a bigger than life person who brought so much value and impact to Mobil. He was admired throughout the company and was a friend to many."

Robert and Annelle accomplished their goal of seeing and living in many exotic locations. But Robert'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, Robert planted arugula, tomatoes, peach, apple, and olive trees, and started 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."

Robert and Annelle made many life-long friends in Texas and around the world. They were friends from their days as young parents with Don Dunbar, Jr., (now of Corsicana) and his late wife Judy. The Whites had fun and adventures with their "When we." tribe of friends Kent and Kitzie Acord of Wimberley, Kenneth and Page Hearn of Houston, Ed and the late Katherine Robinson of McAlester, Oklahoma, Paul and Patricia Harrison of Richardson, Bill and the late Katherine Wende of Fort Worth, and the late Putter and Roxie Jarvis of Brownwood. Bob loved to golf, play cards and travel.

Robert White is survived by his wife Annelle Burton White of Dallas and Brownwood, his daughters Stacy Elizabeth White (Washington D.C.) and Cheryl Kurtz White (San Antonio), his granddaughters Jennifer Elizabeth Kurtz of Brooklyn, McKenzie Annelle Kurtz of Klamath Falls, Oregon, and grandson Landon Robert White of Washington D.C., his brother William Allen White and wife Mozelle (Austin), his sister-in-law Nelda White (Austin), seven nieces, eight nephews, twelve grandnieces & grandnephews, numerous cousins, and his dear family friend Jill M. Ireland. His nephew James Morehead predeceased him. 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.

Robert Wayne White will be remembered for his generous heart and humble nature, as well as his quick mind, his way of finding oil and getting it out of the ground, and his loyalty to his Central Teas roots. From May & Brownwood to Jakarta & London, Robert White was a gentle giant of a man.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort or the U.T. Southwestern Medical Facility in Dallas. The White family extends special thanks to Kelly White, Jill Ireland, and Wayne Robertson, and our beloved caregivers, who were there with Robert in his final days.