Celebration of Life
21. hudel Witfe
cl arch 24, 1909 -une 1, 1996
(idnewsda, June 12, 1996
7hiwing: 8:30 9:30 am
Service: 9:30 am
Officiant: 6. 'Dunstan 2Richardson
. .i t at Astern Cemetery 2o. 1
Salbert SR hudel Nhite
2March 24. 1909 une 1, 1996
Halbert Rhudel White was born on the island of Anegada, BVI on
March 24, 1909 to Joshua White and Ella Wheatley White. After com-
pleting his schooling in Anegada, he moved to St. Thomas in the mid
1920's and worked in the dry goods main street store of his uncle E.C.
Wheatley. Another of his mother's brothers, O.S. Wheatley and wife
Anna operated their upstreet store for many years.
During the years when he worked with his uncle E.C., he quite
ambitiously studied business subjects with Mr. Sebastien Lefee, known
as Mr. Lefee, who had done some studies at the University of Wiscon-
sin in Madison, and taught business subjects privately at home in the
down street area. In the store along with E.C's wife Romalia was Mrs.
Eugenie lJenny" Thomas, Edward Elroy "Tanny" Thomas's mother.
They worked there together for many years until Rhudel left in 1934 to
work in accounting/payroll/cash disbursements at the West Indian
Company. Ms. Jenny and her family maintained a close relationship
with the White and Wheatley families and today her son "Tanny" is
President and CEO of WICO, the knowledge of which was a source of
quiet pride and joy to Rhudel. During his tenure at WICO, then
owned by the Danes, Rhudel, a highly trusted and respected em-
ployee, had extensive financial responsibilities and worked along with
many other long-term employees such as Charles Kean, Auguste
Rimple, Sr. and Edwin Marcelli who served as mentors to younger
employees such as Luther Donadelle, Louis Greaux and Leale Victoria.
One of the original members of the Benevolent Society, Rhudel
served for over 30 years as its president. His business sense, entrepre-
neurship, and tenacity provided him with the insight to advise the
Benevolent Society members of Christchurch to invest their money in
ways which gave them very high financial returns. He also seized
opportunities personally, as they arose, to invest in real estate and
business. In the early 1940s he acquired the distributorship to sell
Raleigh Cycles, an English bicycle, in the Virgin Islands and opened
the Raleigh Cycle Shop in a portion of his uncle's building on Guttet's
Gade. He operated the business concurrently with his employment at
the West Indian Company until his retirement from WICO in 1966.
Rhudel then devoted his time fully to his business and moved to a
larger site on the waterfront in the section of the building where
Cafesito Restaurant is currently located. He operated his cycle busi-
ness there and in later years nepe to manage at same uIm,
Queens Quarter Inc. which stretches from Main Street'to the Water-
front, with associates such as Darwin & Clarissa Creque, Cyril Francois,
Claude Caron and Bedrick Blazic. Island residents remember him as
one tough man to do business with, including "Ms J" who did his ads.
At his side in the business for many years was his wife Louise
whom he married in 1939 and whose birthday was also on March 24th.
She provided the softer, lighter touch in contrast to his brusque, no
nonsense exterior. Friends like Erma Sewer, Bernice Thomas Heyliger,
Ruth Thomas, Rose Marie Wheatley Parsons, his first cousin the late
Louise Wheatley Arnett and others who penetrated his veneer discov-
ered a different and much more mellow person on the inside. A
self-made man and in large measure a self-taught man, Rhudel and his
wife Louise sacrificed to assure their daughters Linda and Linnette a
sound education from Lucinda Millin's Elementary School through a
college education. Their home always abounded with reading material
such as daily newspapers, Time, Life, National Geographic, Kiplinger's
,i -~ r
ana otner magazines. lKudcel was always willing to support a worth-
while cause and made donations to numerous charities and private
loans to individuals which at times became grants. He was especially
generous to his daughters Linda and Linnette and their families as
well as his church, both of which played vital roles to him throughout
his entire life.
At Christchurch Methodist he was a class leader of class 66 for many
years and he also was superintendent of the Sunday School which he
took over from Mr. Elliott Thomas. When he became the church's
Circuit Stewart he took over all the financial statements and issued
checks jointly with the minister in charge. He also served on the
church's Finance and Property Committee. When asked to serve his
Lord and Savior he never said "no." He served unstintingly in all
capacities within the church.
May he rest in peace comfortably reunited with his dear wife Louise,
their stillborn son and their daughter Linnette, his parents and other
relatives and friends. All is well with his soul.
DAUGHTER... Dr. Linda W. Benjamin
GRANDSONS... Lawrence Benjamin, Jr.,
Sean Rhudel Benjamin, Sr., Trevor Gray II, Darren Gray
GREAT-GRANDSON... Sean Rudel Benjamin, Jr.
SONS-IN-LAW,.. Dr. Lawrence Benjamin, ST., Dr. Trevor Gray
SPECIAL COUSIN... Rufus Vanderpool
many nieces, nephews, cousins, godchildren and close friends
Dr. Lawrence Benjamin, Sr., Lawrence Benjamin Jr., Lt. Trevor Gray II,
Sean Rhudel Benjamin, Lt. Darren Gray, Calvin Wheatley
Rufus Vanterpool, Henry Wheatley, Reuben Wheatley,
Joe Potter, Alfred White, Sr., Warren DeWindt
Musical Selections by the Benevolent Society
Brother Rhudel White was one of the first members of the Methodist
Benevolent Society. This society came into being in the early 1930's
during the ministry of Rev. Charles F. Reid, who together with Mr. EUiott
M. Thomas, Circuit Sewart, organized a group of senior church members
for the purpose of assisting financially those members of the Methodist
Society residing in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands who when ill found it
difficult to pay for minimum necessities, including medical bills and
burial expenses. After the death of Mr. Thomas, Brother White became
the president of the society, a position which he held for more than 30
years until he decided to resign due to declining health. However, he
remained a member until his death.
Mrs. Bernice Turnbull
Benevolent Society President
Order of Service
HYMN #449 ..................................0 OSafe to the Rock
EULOGY .................................. Lawrence Benjamin, Jr.
SOLO: Precious Lord, Take My Hand ......... Lawrence Benjamin, Sr.
SELECTION ..... ................. ........... ............ Choir
THE TWENTY-THIRD PSALM ...................... Congregation
THE WORD OF GOD
Romans 8:31-39 ............................. Sean Benjamin Sr.
Revelations 7:9-17 .............................. Lt. Trevor Gray II
Revelations 21:1-7 ................................Lt. Darren Gray
St. John 14:1-6, 27
HYMN ........................ My Faith Looks Up to Thee
APOSTLES CREED (standing)
HYMN #831 ................................. Give Me The Wings
THE LORD'S PRAYER
HYMN ............................... Battle Hymn of the Republic
To Daddy .. Thank you for being the strong, resolute, resourceful
man I have known all my life. Your sense of direction and your forthright
and thoughtful manner have strongly influenced my life and I will al-
ways remember the things you valued most and instilled in us within our
family. In recent years with declining health, another side of you emerged.
Verbal interactions with all of us were punctuated now with peals of
laughter in dire contrast to your known serious nature. Your legacy will
help me to carry on. I will miss you very much. Love always.
Your daughter Linda
Daddy... You were indeed a man of strong conviction, good character
and sound faith. You demonstrated your love for family in many ways,
and I know how proud you were of family accomplishments and suc-
cesses. I will always remember how you stood up to the two young men
who attempted to rob you in the Raleigh Cycle Shop, and how they took
off running when you challenged them. Thank you for all you did for
your loved ones and especially for the support you gave me when I
needed it. Those of us you leave behind know that it is not what he has
or even what he does which expresses the worth of a man, but what he is,
so we all wish you rest in the Lord.
Love, Son-In-Law Larry
To a Loving Father-In-Law ... Dad, though you are gone, your envi-
able legacy will remain always with us. Your life was rich in honesty,
resonantin care, abundant in dependability and replete with hard work.
May you enjoy and be as successful in your new journey as you were in
this. Bon voyage, dad, until again we meet.
Father, thank you for the wisdom ana gulaance you nave given nt
over the years. Your savvy as a businessman and the experience you
gave me continue to influence my work ethic to this day. You will always
remain in my heart and mind. I will miss you.
Your grandson, Lawrence
Dear Father ... Thank you for the wisdom, knowledge and strength
you shared with your family members and friends. You always had a
positive effect on everyone who has ever come in contact with you.
Father, you were a great role model for your while family. Your strive for
personal development was one of your characteristics that I strove for in
my life. Thank you for being there for me. You were definitely "quite
Your grandson, Sean
Dear Grandpa ... I have not forgotten you quietly demonstrated the
depth of action and the shallowness of words, and I remember you
silently showed us humility and faith and I have learned. And without a
word you taught me discipline and integrity, and I have followed. I have
Your grandson, Darren
Dear Uncle Rhudel... When I used to stay at Windward Passage Hotel
or Island Beachcomber in the 1980's, I would come by to see you at your
Raleigh Cycle Shop. But I really got to know you on my last visit to St.
Thomas in July, 1994, when I stayed at your house. We laughed and
talked for hours on end. I love you and will miss you. Rest in peace.
Your niece, Elaine D.W. Sims
Grandpa... You have taught me how faith, love and integrity create a
long, happy and successful life. You have truly been an inspiration and
will be sorely missed. I love you.
Trevor Gray II
Rhudel... Remembrance of your mother brings to mind the picture of
a devoted, dutiful son who leaves a legacy of resolute determination,
pride, and love of precision inherited or acquired from her. Rest in her
arms in peace.
Your cousin, Pearl Varlack
In Tribute to a Respected Cousin ... A vital part of our family's story,
which I should have taken more time to learn from you, has gone with
you. Thank you for always reminding me that we were cousins and,
thus, helping me to internalize the enduring importance of family ties.
You always impressed me by being what so many more West Indian men
snouia oe uoa reanng, a gooa nusoana, a gooc rather, a prudent
businessman a sterling example in so many ways. Youth White-Francis-
Krigger cousins will remember you with love and respect May you
enjoy the reward of our Lord's eternal joy.
Marilyn F. Krigger
Mr. White... For the past two and a half years that I worked for you, I
found you to be a perfect gentleman, very compassionate, good and kind.
Your passing brought grief and sorrow to my heart, but in my sorrow I
am reminded that death is only the vehicle that takes us from this life to
the new life that God has promised to all his children. May you find that
perfect rest in Him. God bless you, my brother. Rest in peace.
Mr. White.. I will miss your friendship, your passing has left a void in
my heart. I know that you will want all of us that loved you to be joyful.
So God bless you as you begin your new life with him. We will miss you,
but we will never forget you.
Your neighbor, Sylma and daughter
The news of the passing of Mr. White leaves me feeling sorrow and
heartache which comes with death. But I will remember him as he
scolded me and others at our meetings at 21 Queens Quarter. Yet at times
he would still give in to my ways. While I remain humble in my sorrow,
I am reminded of the reunions he will have now with his loved ones.
Rose Marie Wheatly Parsons
As I reflect on the life and contributions of Mr. Rhudel White in the
Methodist Church, "steward extraordinaire" comes to tnind. He served
faithfully and well in his Master's vineyard. His knowledge and compe-
tence in accounting and his business acumen were always evident when
he challenged a bookkeeping method used in the quarterly report or
fiscal judgement, sometimes to the chagrin of some. Many of us who
served with him on various committees are thankful for the wisdom and
knowledge which he imparted. Mr. White's sojourn here is ended and he
is now resting in the bosom of the Almighty.
Brother Rudel White was a true pillar of Christchurch Methodist. As
class leader, circuit steward, Sunday school superintendent or whatever
other assignment he took on, his service was characterized by commit-
ment and discipline. His life in the church was textbook on what service
should be. As much of a businessman as Brother White was, he always
found time for people, chatting, inquiring about or visiting the sick or
sharing fruit from his garden. We trust that those of us whose lives he
has touched will continue his legacy of Christian living.
I have fond memories of Mr. White as I worked in his cycle chop with
him after school from 1979-1982 and full time from 1982-1983. Because of
his recommendation I got my first job in Florida. He was really instru-
mental in that and I treasure his efforts on my behalf. He taught me so
much about the island's history too. In 1988 on a visit home, he talked to
me for about 2 hours on various things. Although others may not have
understood him at times, I know that he was a very honorable and honest
man who always told me to do the right thing. I am very grateful for that.