Obituaries

Mrs. Eula Lathan White

Funeral service for Mrs. Eula Lathan White is scheduled for Saturday, March 5, 2022, at 11:00AM at Bright Morning Star Baptist Church 623 Martin Luther King Drive.  Rev. Anthony Jackson will be officiating.  

 Eula Lathan White was born on February 10, 1918, in Shelby County to the late Tom Lathan and Beulah Moore Lathan.  Eula grew up on a farm in the rural area of Shelby County.  Strong family values and perseverance were taught by the Lathan family.  Eula died February 23, 2022, at Nacogdoches Medical Center in Nacogdoches, Texas at the age of 104. 

Eula White was a lifelong, devoted member of Bright Morning Star Baptist Church, serving in many compacities, including choir member, financial secretary and deaconess board secretary.  

Eula attended school in the Webb School District in the Africa Community and later transferred to Center Colored High School, graduating in 1937.  Eula attended Butler College in Tyler, Texas, completing her studies at Texas College in Tyler, Texas from which she received her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and a minor in English.  She pursued graduate studies at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas receiving her Master of Science in Elementary Education and a minor in Administrative Supervision and Business.  She pursued additional academic training at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas and in California.  

Eula began her teaching career in 1942 in the Webb School District, located in the Africa Community.  Many of the county’s rural schools had only two or three classrooms.  She taught grades 4, 5 and 6 in one classroom. Some years later the Webb School was consolidated with C. H. Daniels School. She also taught at East Liberty High School and Marian Anderson High School, completing her teaching career with Center ISD, retiring in 1980 after 34 years as an educator.  At one point she was a “Visiting Teacher,” where she visited the homes of students who had numerous absences. Eula noted that Mr. Standley was her first principal after integration. Eula and Mr. Standley’s family became great friends. Eula became a Licensed Vocational Nurse, graduating from Panola College in Carthage, Texas. These skills she employed in the care of her father and husband before their deaths and at Holiday Nursing Home in Center, Texas. 

“School teaching” seemed to be a popular occupation within the Lathan and White families.  Eula’s sister, Annie Mae taught in the public schools as did her uncle, Joseph Lathan, and her aunts, Picksey Cauley and Martha Pierce were noted teachers. Additionally, her husband, Marcellus, was a long-time teacher and principal.  Through the years, she taught school alongside Mrs. Mary Lovell, Mrs. Selma McClelland, Ms. Elma Swindall and Mrs. Rubye Biggers, all of whom became respected colleagues and cherished friends.  

Eula married Marcellus White on December 24, 1940.  They were a dedicated couple and opened numerous opportunities for people in Shelby County and surrounding areas, particularly for young people as their home was always open to nieces, nephews, students and family friends.  While Marcellus was known for his civic involvement as a member of the Center City Council, the Deep East Texas Advisory Council and the State of Texas Grant Review Committee, Eula was equally as involved serving on the Shelby County Tax Appraisal Board, Toledo Bend Retired Teacher Association, Shelby County Teachers Association, Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, Shelby County Historical Society and East Center Community Development Corporation. 

Eula was preceded in death by her husband, Marcellus White, parents: Tom and Beulah Lathan and siblings:  Annie Mae Roberts, John Boothe, Willie Mae Johnson, Rawsie Lister and T.O. Lathan

Eula leaves behind nieces: Sharon Polley; Dr. Veassa Johnson, and Conchita Johnson Raatib; a devoted great nephew: Keith Lister and wife Brenette; a surrogate son: Robert Brown; a surrogate daughter: Mary Smith; and a host of great nieces and nephews. 

In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund will be set up at Farmer State Bank in Center, Texas (Eula L. White Scholarship Fund).

Visitation:  On Friday, March 4, 2022, at Hicks Chapel from the hours of 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM and family visitation from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

Committal: Westview Cemetery in Center, Texas  

Due to COVID 19, masks are required during visitation and funeral services.  All safety procedures are strictly enforced. With addition to COVID 19, temperature checks are required and vaccination cards are required, per family request. 

Service entrusted to Hicks Mortuary 804 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Center, Texas 75935

Please visit our website for online condolences at www.hicksmortuary.net

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