Obituary: Dela White

Dela WhiteObituary: Dela White

Note: She’s the founder of Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children (Deaf school in San Antonio, Texas) in 1947.

January 3, 1921 – October 4, 2015

Dela Tuleta Wright White a native of San Antonio, born January 3, 1921 passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Sunday, October 4, 2015, at the age of 94. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 46 years, John H. White, Sr. and her youngest son, Ryall Luther White II: parents, Tuleta C. and Gilbert G. Wright, Jr.; sister and brother-in-law, Anne and Ed Basse; and brother and sister-in-law, Gilbert G. Wright III and wife, Rosemary.

Dela is survived by her three children: Tuleta Chittim White, Myfe White Moore, and John Hansford White, Jr. and wife Laurie. Dela, affectionately known as “Ducky”, is also survived by her eight grandchildren: John H. White III and wife Amy, James D. Moore, Jr. and wife Jolene, Molly W. Truax and husband Clint, Katherine M. McAllen and husband James, Mary M. Harper and husband Will, Christopher Clayton White, Matthew M. White and David R. White. She is also survived by ten great-grandchildren: John IV and Remy White; Sydney, William and Cassidy Moore; James III, Salomé and Georgiana McAllen; Flora and Lucy Harper; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A graduate of St. Mary’s Hall and Finch College in New York City, Dela also attended the University of Texas at Austin and was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. After marrying John, and starting their family, they soon discovered their oldest daughter, Tuleta, was born deaf. Driven by a need for a school to educate their daughter, she founded Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children in June of 1947, and stayed involved with the school throughout the remainder of her life.

She was a devoted member of Christ Episcopal Church having served on the Vestry. She served on numerous boards, including St. Mary’s Hall Alumni Council, San Antonio Academy Advisory Council, Witte Museum Council, San Antonio Museum Association and the San Antonio Symphony.

Dela was involved with numerous community charities, including of the Charity Ball where she was a founder and past President, the Junior League of San Antonio, and along with her husband, John, co-founder of the Circle Bar Foundation which supports many of the causes she believed in. She was an avid and long time member of the San Antonio Country Club, The Argyle, The Assembly, Fenwick, Timely Topics, Battle of Flowers Association and the Forum. As an avid community philanthropist, she also was a recipient of many distinguished awards throughout her life. These awards include San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame, President’s Award for Child Advocacy, Governor’s Humanitarian Award for Volunteer Service for the State of Texas, San Antonio Volunteer Extraordinaire, Outstanding Philanthropist of San Antonio, The W. T. Bondurant, Sr. Distinguished Humanitarian Award, Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas Trefoil Award and the 5th Annual Cowgirls Live Forever Honoree, and inducted in the Philanthropy in Texas Hall of Fame.

Her many passions included her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, education, traveling, animals, her flower gardens, golf and flying. Dela never met a stranger and she always welcomed others with open arms. She will be remembered for her immediate warmth, constant modesty and captivating sense of humor.

The family wishes to warmly extend special thanks to Paul and Norma Barrett for their nearly 40 years of caring, friendship and loyal service. Also a special thank you to her caregivers, Maria Gibson, Gloria Gomez, Dora Hernandez, Carmen Dixon and her caring companion later in life, Lorri Mach. They would also like to express their gratitude to Dr. Scott Campbell and his staff for the professional services provided and VITAS Hospice for making her final days comfortable.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM at Porter Loring on McCullough.

11:00 AM
San Antonio, Texas

Interment will be private for family. The Rt. Revered William Frey and the Reverend Patrick Gahan will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children or a .

You are invited to sign the Guestbook at

Funeral Home
Porter Loring Mortuary – San Antonio
1101 McCullough
San Antonio, Texas 78212
(210) 227-8221 Funeral

Published in Express-News on October 5, 2015

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.