Jerry White, who co-operated Whitehall Mercantile along Route 66 in Halltown, Missouri, for many years, died Wednesday at Mercy Hospital in nearby Springfield. He was 87.
Jerry’s wife, Thelma, not only owned the business in Halltown but both were charter members of the Route 66 Association of Missouri.
Thelma died in 2010 after running the store for about 30 years, starting in the mid-1980s. The building was built about 1900 and formerly served as a grocery.
Whitehall Mercantile closed in late 2016. Jerry said ownership of the building went into probate, and it also “seemed like the right time to close” a few years after Thelma’s death.
Jerry, who was born in the same county, was a teacher for about 30 years before joining his wife in running Whitehall Mercantile.
Anthony Reichardt talked to Thelma White during a stop in 1993. (Reichardt’s YouTube channel has archived his videotaped encounters on Route 66 from the early to late 1990s.)
Jerry is survived by a daughter, Anne (Jim) Roth of Washington, Missouri; two grandsons, Jason (Janette) Roth of El Paso, Texas, and Cory Roth of St. Louis; and two great-grandsons, Caleb and Thomas Roth of El Paso. Other survivors include two sisters-in-law, Evelyn Colestock of Indianapolis and Georgia White of Halltown; and three nieces and three nephews.
According to his obituary, his family received friends for a time of visitation Saturday at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home in Springfield, with a private family graveside service. Memorials are requested to Casas por Cristo, P.O. Box 971070, El Paso TX 79997.
(Hat tip to Tonya Pike; image of Whitehall Mercantile in Halltown, Missouri, by DiAnne L’Roy via Flickr; image of Jerry White via Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home)