LaErma White, the youngest of the four children of Mattie and Titus Harris, was born and reared in Texarkana, Arkansas. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and gained some college hours at Texarkana College. LaErma was married to Herman H. White for thirty-four years before his death, and to this union they added three daughters—LaVerne, Elaine, and Carolyn.
LaErma became active in her church, school, and community activities early in her life. She started a nursery school in her home in 1952. A few years later she moved her school to a small church building. She later moved to a lodge hall, and from there to the newly erected Iron Mountain Neighborhood Center. At this time government funds became available, and the nursery school became the Iron Mountain Day Care Center, under the direction of the Iron Mountain Ozan Inghram Neighborhood Center Board of Directors. LaErma remained head teacher with several teacher aides. She retired from her work with the children after thirty-seven years.
Sometime later, LaErma was hired by the Area Agency for Aging to work as the activity supervisor for senior programs at the Sandflat Glendale Neighborhood Center. That job required social skills, hand crafts, socialization, and Bible classes. A schedule was made to allow for diversions. Bingo was one of the favorites for this group. Sewing was also big in times past. Each year the group would make a quilt to raffle off. Even though that program is still intact to a small degree, it is no longer funded, and health issues as well as transportation has caused a big decrease in attendance and participation.
LaErma was the grandniece of the late Scott Joplin, “The King of Rag Time”. She and her sister Lillian McDonald were honored guests at several events in recognition of Scott Joplin—namely the Unveiling of the Scott Joplin Postage Stamp in Joplin, Missouri; the unveiling of a Joplin Statue at Sea World Park in San Antonio, Texas; the Annual Joplin Festival in Sedalia, Missouri; and the Joplin Mural on 3rd Street in Texarkana, Arkansas.
LaErma was very active in the Lonoke Baptist Church most of her life. She served as the President of the Baptist Training Union; Supervisor of the Youth Choir; Chairperson of the Benevolent Committee; Secretary of the Mission Circle; Program Chairperson for the Sunday School; member of the Senior Choir; and President of the Deaconess.
Her favorite Bible verse was, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13 .
She was active in her community, serving as President of the Booker T. Washington High School Band Parent Association; Secretary of the Ozan Ingram Iron Mountain Board of Directors; a Girl School Leader; Secretary of the Booker T. Washington Alumni Association; President of the Zeta Amicae—an auxiliary of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority; Senior Citizens Activity Director of Sandflat Center; and member of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.
Her hobbies were reading, sewing, painting and most crafts.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Herman H White; brothers, James Harris, Titus Harris Jr.; sister, Lillian McDonald; and daughters, LaVerne McQueen, Elaine Davis and Carolyn White.
Her legacy and precious memories are cherished by her granddaughters: Anjie (Shevoyd) Hamilton of Fort Worth, TX, Fran McQueen of Crowley, TX, Katina Davis of Little Rock, AR; grandson: Kevin McQueen of Fort Worth, TX; great-grandchildren: Marcus McQueen, Shavonne (Justin) Hayley, Spencer Davis, Preston Davis; son-in-law: G.B. (Elaine) Davis; sister–in–law Evelena (James) Harris; nieces: Gwen (Willie Ray) Tubbs, JoAnne Martin, Pam (James) Adams, Joyce Grant, nephews: Gary (G’Vonne) McDonald, James (Apryl) Harris III; special family member: Debra Maxwell and a host of other relatives and friends.
Visitation Friday, May 26, 2023 at Jones Stuart Mortuary 3:00-5:00 PM. Funeral Service Saturday, May 27, 2023 at 10:00 AM Lonoke Baptist Church, 1841 Lonoke Avenue, Texarkana, Arkansas 71854 with Rev. Dwight Burks, Officiant and Pastor Arthur Hill, Sr., Eulogist. Burial in Fairhaven Cemetery.