REST IN PEACE BELOVED BROTHER AND VICE PRESIDENT OF THE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE BOYS, BILL PRICE – You will remain in our hearts forever!
BILLY RAY PRICE
NOVEMBER 13, 1947 – MAY 27, 2018
Bill R. Price, age 70, of Valrico, FL lost his battle with cancer on May 27, 2018. Bill was a Master Mechanic and business owner. He was a Baptist and enjoyed life to its fullest. Bill loved playing softball and golf. He also enjoyed leatherworking, antiques and old cars. He was Vice President of the White House Boys.
Bill was preceded in death by his brother, James Price Jr. He is survived by the love of his life, Janice Morris; sons, Billy Price Jr. (Bonnie), Trevor Price and adopted son, Stephen Williams; daughter, Angyla Price; brother, Ira Ewell; sister, Constance Price; eight grandchildren, Chelsea Todd, Mary Smith, Ciara Price, Tyler Arnold, Chase Miller, Billy Price, Joey Price, Sarah Nicole Williams; and two great grandchildren, Lilly-Anne Smith and Camden Smith.
A funeral service will be held at Wells Memorial and Event Center on June 2, 2018 at 3pm. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. A reception will follow at the funeral home.
May 23, 1946 – September 04, 2017
Mr. George Daniel Fudge of Daytona Beach, FL, passed away on Monday, September 4, 2017 at the age of 71. He was surrounded by his loving wife, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren under the care of Halifax Hospice Care Center.
George was born on May 23, 1946 to Floy and Louise (Taylor) Fudge in Lakeland, FL. George is survived by his wife, Sharon (Case), two daughters, Jennifer Fudge of Inverness, FL, Leslie Fudge, New Port Richey, FL, and son Daniel Fudge, and sisters Betty Fudge of Baytown, TX, and Kaye Jones of Houston, TX, and brothers Charles Fudge of Crystal River, FL, and Roy Fudge of Auburndale, FL, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his son, Troy Fudge, brothers, Floy Fudge Jr., Edwin Fudge and Donald Fudge, and sisters, Linda Burns and Tina Jones.
Service will be Friday, September 8, 2017, 12:00pm at United Church of Christ, 203 Washington Street, New Smyrna Beach, FL. The family is grateful for the condolences, but in lieu of flowers donations to Vitas Hospice Daytona Beach and The White Boys Organization would be greatly appreciated.
October 9, 1945 – January 20, 2018
Mike Sapp, 72, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, January 20th, 2018. He was born in Fort Pierce, FL on October 9th, 1945 to Mary Ellen (Rosier) and Roscoe W. Sapp. He attended Dan McCarty High School in Fort Pierce.
Mike was a devoted Christian who was passionate about assisting others in need. As the retired Director of an Emergency Response Team for the Daytona Center of the Salvation Army, he traveled often to provide leadership, shelter, and supplies to the survivors of wildfires and hurricanes. He was also a retired Director of a Drug and Rehabilitation Team to the same Daytona Center. In this position, Mike played a critical role in assisting individuals who were combating addiction in key areas such as adhering to probation requirements, rebuilding social and life skills, and preparing for workforce re-entry. Lastly, Mike was an Ordained Minister who led sermons and provided spiritual guidance to those in the rehabilitation program.
Mike had a strong love for fishing, camping, and grilling around a campfire with friends and family. He was also an active cyclist often biking 30 miles per day in his earlier years. His fishing pole, camo hat, and walking stick were never far out of reach. However, Mike’s pride and joy was his all black German Shepherd, Oynx. These two never left each other’s side, so much that Onyx passed away just four months before Mike.
Mike is survived by his partner of 9 years Debbie Bergandi, daughters Shana Sapp and Christina Arapolu, granddaughter Ella Sol Arapalu, his sister Diane Soethe, and nephew John Sapp Jr. He is predeceased by his brother, John Sapp. Mike was also an official member of The White House Boys. He is survived and predeceased by many men who he considered “brothers” in this organization.
Mike’s strong demeanor, sense of humor, and dedication to the Lord will be missed by so many. A “Celebration of Life” ceremony will be held during the 2018 White House Boys Reunion. Please see below for more details.
“Go rest high on that mountain. Son, your work on earth is done;
Go to heaven a-shoutin’, love for the Father and the Son.”
Haynes Jr., William “Bill”
Mr. William “Bill” Haynes Jr., age 73, of Elmore, Alabama passed away December 13,2016.
He was born July 30,1943 to the late William and LaVerne (Walters) Haynes.
Funeral services will be Friday, December 16,2016 at Brookside Funeral Home Chapel at 2:00 PM with the Rev. Charles Sanders officiating. Burial will follow in the Brookside Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends one hour prior to service time.
Bill is survived by his wife Betty “Pat” Haynes; sister,Yvonne(Keith) Lamb; brother Clifford (Rubylene) Haynes; Brother in Law, Jim(Joyce) Parker; Sister in Law, John (Carole) Parker and several nieces and nephews.
Mr. Haynes served in US Army Special Services, he retired from Alabama Department of Corrections as a Communication Engineer & Ham Radio Operator. He was also a member of Hampton Sydney Lodge NO 67 F.& A.M.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Hampton Sydney Lodge NO 67 F. & A.M., PO Box 80, Millbrook, Alabama 36054.
Brookside Funeral Home Millbrook, Alabama directing.
Published in the Montgomery Advertiser on Dec. 15, 2016
Remains of boy who died at Dozier reform school sent to Daytona sister
DAYTONA BEACH — Sitting in a wheelchair, her hands clasped, Mattie Jackson haltingly spoke about her older brother Billey, the boy she adored and looked up to when both were growing up in the city in the early 1950s.
(if video doesn’t load, you may put this in your browser: http://videos.tout.com/dry/mp4/315ca35db0d41bc0.mp4 )
“He was a loving and sweet brother who used to pull me in a little red wagon,” Jackson, now 73, said at her Daytona Beach apartment building on Wednesday afternoon. “It was just the two of us. He was everything I had until they took him away.”
Billey Jackson would have turned 77 this past February. But instead, Jackson will see her brother for the first time since he was taken from their Park Drive house, in a coffin.
Billey “went away” in August 1952. He was 13 years old and was sent to the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, just west of Tallahassee. He had skipped school three times according to a truancy officer, and was sent to the facility — a reform school — 323 miles away.
The school, shut down in 2011, is now synonymous with being one of the most horrific institutions in the country, where children suffered daily abuse meted out by a handful of administrators at the facility.
Those who survived their time at Dozier told shocking stories of beatings and even rapes at the institution. The punishments were harsher against blacks and youngsters who tried to run away. The survivors also told of unmarked graves on the school’s property where those who had died “mysteriously” had been dumped into wooden boxes and buried.
There were 31 graves at Dozier, their placement marked with simple metal crosses. However, talk of additional remains at the school persisted and reached such a crescendo that in 2008 then-Gov. Charlie Crist ordered an investigation to determine if there were other bodies at the school. Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators launched a query and concluded in 2009 that there had been no foul play at Dozier and that the 31 metal crosses belonged to children who had all been accounted for, published reports show.
Regardless, survivors continued making noise about the additional remains until their stories caught the attention of the Tampa Bay Times. Reporters there began delving into the recollections of these men, now members of a group called the White House Boys Organization. The group was named for the narrow, white building on Dozier property where boys were beaten.
Mattie Jackson, 73, the sole survivor of Billey Jackson who died mysteriously at the Dozier School for Boys in 1952. Daytona Beach on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. News-Journal / LOLA GOMEZ
In 2012, Erin Kimmerle, a forensic archaeology professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa became involved with Dozier. After receiving permission from the governor’s office to investigate at the now-closed school, Kimmerle and her associates located an additional 51 sets of remains at Dozier. Kimmerle then obtained permission to excavate.
This past January, Kimmerle and those who assisted in the exhaustive investigation, presented their findings to the state in a report titled “Investigation into the Deaths and Burials at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida.”
In the executive summary of her report, it states: “The purpose of this investigation was to determine the location of missing children buried at the former Florida Industrial School, also known as the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in order to excavate and repatriate the remains to their families.”
Based on just some of Kimmerle’s findings, the horrors began at Dozier almost as soon as the facility opened in 1900. By 1901, reports of children being chained to walls in irons, brutal whippings, and peonage surfaced. There were also accounts of children being placed in dark cells and if they were black children, in sweat boxes.
Floggings were commonplace with 4-inch-wide leather straps as boys were made to lie face-down on thin cots and ordered to hold onto the metal headboard as the leather came down fast and hard on their backs and buttocks.
As for Billey Jackson, his death certificate stated that the teenager died of pyelonephritis, a urinary tract infection that affects one or both kidneys, said niece Ida Cummings of Washington, D.C.
However, Johnny Walthour of Jacksonville, told the Florida Times-Union that he helped bury Billey’s body in October 1952. Walthour, who died earlier this year, recalled that Billey’s stomach was bloated and bruised.
Mother told me they had beaten him to death,” Jackson said.
Roughly eight months after Billey died, Jackson’s mother, Susie Jackson, died too. Mattie Jackson believes her mother died from grief.
After that, Mattie Jackson never spoke of Billey again until 2009 when her own grandson was sent to Dozier.
“They broke the grandson’s arm and that’s when she (Mattie) started opening up to me about what happened to her brother,” Cummings said. “She called me and said don’t let them do to him what they did to my brother.”
Mattie Jackson did not want to talk about what happened to her grandson at Dozier or why he was sent there.
Richard Charles Noble, 73,
of Plant City
May 9, 2010
Richard Charles Noble, 73, of Plant City, Florida passed peacefully surrounded by family and friends Saturday May 9, 2015 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
Born August 20, 1941 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was preceded in death by his parents Russell & Frances Wells Noble and his brother Charles Fredrick Noble.
He served his country in the United States Navy. He worked for Seabulk Towing over 20 years. He had a love for the sea, motorcycles and music. He was a pilot. He graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Computer Science degree.
He is survived by his three daughters, Sherridee (Victor) Garcia of Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Kathi Lee (Orville) Utley of Rancho Cucamonga, CA and Erika Erin Noble Pagan of Edgefield, SC.
Eight grandchildren, Nicole (Terry) Baughman of Lehi, UT; Staci (Cory) Schulfer of Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Desiree & Jocelyn Garcia and Jeni & Christi Utley of Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Kaleenda Angel & Jose Pagan of Edgefield, SC. Six great grandchildren, Kyler, Abigail, Christian, Halei, Jeweli & Holli.
Three sisters, Mary Noble of Fredericksburg, VA; Carolyn (William) Abshire of Satellite Beach, FL; and Elizabeth Leapley of Indialantic, FL. One brother, Olie Gerheart.
Thank you to his very special friends, Dick, Butch, Wolf & Peggy, for all the love, time & efforts you showed our father.
A memorial service will be held in his honor New location for Richard Noble’s memorial. is: Cleveland Heights Golf Course 2900 Buckingham Ave. Lakeland, FL It will be held in the Master’s Room at 5pm on May 23.
Our dear brother Leo Collier, member of “Black Boys at Dozier Reform School”, departed this life Friday May 10, 2015 at 12:00 noon. Brother Leo was 84 years old, and an X-Slave of Marianna F.S.B. from 1944 to 1947 A long time resident of Polk Co., Fl. May you rest in peace brother Leo — Richard Huntley
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
It is with great sadness that we once again mourn the passing of a brother White House Boy, Leo Collier. I know that it is hard for a family at this time when you have to say goodbye to a loved one but we as White House Boys know that another mind has been put at ease and no longer does Leo have to endure the memories of the past and relive the torture he went through. I know he will rest in peace knowing that we are still here fighting for him and every White house Boy that preceded him in passing. No one deserved what we went through as children and had to carry throughout our lives but we all deserve to see Justice. I feel remorse for You brother Leo Collier because you could not be here to see the justice you deserve, but I feel joy for you because you no longer feel the pain. Rest in Peace – Bill Price
Funeral Service for Herbert Baker, 72, will be held Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. in The West Jacksonville Church of God in Christ, 3838 Firestone Rd. Bishop Gary Hall, Pastor. He will rest in the chapel TODAY (Friday) from 4 to 7 p.m. The Cortege will assemble at 3135 Roselle Street at 10:15 a.m. Arrangements Entrusted to The Mortuary We Trust, HARRIS MORTUARY, INC. 2261 Edison Avenue, (904) 598-9808/764-4434. BAKER Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com
Published in the Florida Times-Union on Apr. 24, 2015
(October 18, 1951 – March 4, 2014)
62, of Tampa died from heart complications. He was a retired mechanic from Hillsborough County Schools and a member of the White House Boys. He is loved and will be missed by all who knew him. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be conducted from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 8, 2014 in the Adams & Jennings Chapel.
The Valdosta Daily Times
Thu Dec 06, 2012, 12:04 AM EST
VALDOSTA — Wayne Howard, 73, of Stockton, Ga., passed away Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at the Lakeland Villa Convalescent Center after a lengthy illness. He was born May 7, 1939, to the late Charlie D. and Sadie (Evans) Howard in LaGrange, Ga. He was a member of the Stockton Baptist Church and a construction worker around South Georgia.
Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Patsy Howard of Stockton, Ga.; sons, Wayne Howard of Jacksonville, Fla., and Matthew Howard of Florida; daughters, Marilyn Howard of Lakeland, Ga., Tonia Howard of Florida; son and daughter-in-law, Patrick and Tina Howard of Washington State; son and daughter-in-law, Casey and Jennifer Howard of Stockton, Ga.; son and daughter-in-law, Charlie and Jessi Howard of Naylor, Ga.; four grandchildren, Travis Bowling, Sadie Howard, Noah Howard and Eden Howard; great-granddaughter, Braelee Bowling; sister, Connie Keller of Tampa, Fla.; and sister and brother-in-law, Pat and Raymond Browning of Stockton, Ga.
LAKELAND – George Edward Driver, Jr., age 62 passed away December 14, 2012 at home of heart failure. George was born February 6, 1950 in Lakeland, Fl.
George is survived by his wife of 14 years, Lynn Driver; mother, Hazel Sharpe; father, M.T. Sharpe, Sr.; brothers, Martin Sharpe, Jr., Barry Sharpe; sisters, Marvella Haire and Kim Sharpe and grandchildren, Devin and Keaton.
Visitation will be Monday, December 17, 2012 from 6:00-8:00 P.M. At Seigler Funeral Home-Chapel, Hwy. 60 E. Mulberry, Fl. Funeral services will be Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 1:00 P.M. At Seigler Funeral Home with Rev. Lee Spell & Rev. Clayton Barber oficiating.
IN MEMORY OF WHB FRANK MARX
REST IN PEACE
(Deceased August 17, 2010)
Please remember Peggy and Pastor Johnny Marx and their families in your prayers. Frank lost the battle with cancer, and has gone to be with the Lord.
READ ON FOR AN ARTICLE WRITTEN ABOUT FRANK
Late in life, White House Boy found his brotherhood
By Chris Anderson
Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 1:00 a.m.
On the front of the T-shirt was the dark silhouette of a one-armed man swinging a leather strap, the blows still excruciating a half-century later.
Behind the man was a small white house, where the reform school children were brought in the middle of the night, made to bite a dirty pillow, and beaten into unconsciousness as an old industrial fan droned over their screams and blood splashed onto the walls.
The shirt also said, “Torture Chamber” and “Florida’s Shame.”
Frank Marx, 67, died Tuesday at his Sarasota home proudly wearing that T-shirt.
He never overcame the beatings he took as a teenager in 1959 at the Florida School for Boys in Marianna, a small town in the Panhandle.
There was kindness at his core, but mostly he struggled with raging anger and experienced terrifying nightmares that would leave him in a fetal position, whimpering like a child.
And yet, in the final years of his life, Marx found unexpected love and support from the hundreds of men who had experienced the same horrors but hadn’t spoken of them for decades.
They were called the White House Boys, and he was one of them, even on the day he died. Especially on the day he died.
“Finding the White House Boys two years ago was the best thing that ever happened to that man,” said Marx’s wife, Peggy.
“They’re just united by this … ‘We survived.’ “
On Saturday, about two dozen of the White House Boys came from as far away as Baltimore to pay their respects to Marx. The men filled a small Sarasota church, and spoke of his impact on their lives.
“Frank will always be with me and he will always be with the White House Boys,” said Dick Colon, who then began crying and walked away.
From early in his childhood, it was clear that Marx’s life would be rough. He was born in Sarasota, but the family moved to Montana for a short time. When he was 41/2, he heard some children playing down the street, so he opened the gate at his house to join them. His 11/2-year-old sister got out, fell into a drainage ditch and drowned.
Marx’s mother kept the girl’s clothes, and when she was drunk she would take them out, show them to Marx and say: “This is your fault. You murdered your sister.”
At her funeral, according to an account Marx wrote for a White House Boys website, he was made to stand in front of her casket and stare at her.
“Better not move, boy,” he remembered someone saying. That was a phrase he would hear again at reform school as leather cut through his flesh.
He shuffled between Sarasota and Fort Myers as a teenager. Then, one night in 1961, he and some boys were firing BB guns at each other from a shopping mall roof.
When the police came, Marx was the only one who got into trouble. He was sent to the Florida School for Boys in Marianna.
There, Marx would be sleeping when someone would grab him hard by the underwear and bring him to the place all the children feared but no one dared talk about: The White House.
Troy Tidwell, the school official who lost an arm in a shotgun accident at 6, was said to be one of the men who delivered the beatings to Marx. However, Tidwell, now 84, said in a deposition that he only gave “spankings” and usually no more than 10 to any boy.
Former students interviewed said the lashes from the 3-foot piece of leather sounded like the discharge of a 12-gauge shotgun — Pop! Pop! Pop! — and sometimes the leather was turned on its side, cutting into skin and spraying blood on the walls.
The first trip to the White House, Marx said, he counted 118 lashes before passing out.
The second trip? More than a hundred.
The third? Pop! Pop! Pop!
He wrote on a website that the men would take bets on when they would draw blood, make the boy move, or bring him to tears. If you spoke, they started over.
More than 300 former students filed a class-action lawsuit against the state for abuse suffered in the 1950s and 60s, but in February a Leon County judge dismissed the suit.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated the claims at Gov. Charlie Crist’s request, but announced earlier this year it would not prosecute anyone.
Jerry Cooper, a White House Boy who said he got 138 of those ferocious lashes in 1961, is incensed.
“It’s got to be the most ferocious case of child abuse in this country’s history,” Cooper said. “Who in the hell else would do this to a child?
“You just don’t know what they did to us. You just don’t have a clue.”
LIVING WITH THE PAIN
The best time of Marx’s life was a few years ago, when he and Peggy traveled the southeastern United States for seven months in a 37-foot motor home.
They sold fried alligator tails along the way, and he loved telling stories to the customers.
Like that one Halloween at Horse Creek when he was in his 20s and he draped seaweed all over a girl, making her look like a monster.
When cars approached he would throw the girl over the bridge. Of course no one knew she landed in the hay Frank put in the bed of a pickup truck down below. Too bad the police didn’t think it was funny.
Marx met Peggy 36 years ago at the old Loft bar on Bee Ridge Road; Peggy worked there. By then, Marx was 31 and had already been married three times.
Two years later, at the Sarasota County courthouse, Peggy became No. 4. She also became an outlet for anger that she traces back to Marianna.
There was serious verbal and physical abuse. One time he hit her, knocked her over in a chair, sat on top of her and hit her again.
Another time they settled a dispute in their truck. She made him drive, afraid that if his hands weren’t on the wheel he might strike her.
Marx was known to put the toothpaste cap on the floor by the toilet, and berate Peggy if she didn’t find it fast enough. She dreaded 3 p.m., the time he would come home each day from his job as a stucco contractor.
He was tough on the kids. Peggy had four when they married. He had one. She used to pray for them not to come home with bad report cards, afraid of Marx’s explosive reaction.
Their schooling was important to him because he couldn’t read or write.
They were about five years into their marriage when he told her about the Florida School for Boys and the beatings he took.
It was a Sunday afternoon and they were sitting in bed, eating a salad tray and watching some prison movie.
He turned to her and said, “They do that to children right here in the state of Florida.”
“Are you kidding me?” she said.
“No, I’m not kidding. They make you lay on this cot, they make you hold the rails, they stick your face in this dirty pillow and they beat you with a leather strap until they bust you open.
“They bet on you,” he continued. “They bet on how many licks it would take before they could draw blood.”
Now, Marx could tell a story and stretch the truth, but when she looked into his eyes this time, she knew he was serious.
“None of our kids will ever go there,” he said to her. “I’ll kill them first.”
For decades he had nightmares and she would often find him curled up and whimpering.
Nightmares were common for many of the White House Boys. In fact, for a long time Peggy was a designated person the men could call in the middle of the night for comfort.
“I’d say 99.9 percent of the nightmares were of the one-arm man coming in with that hand of steel,” she said.
Sitting in her living room just hours after Marx died, and making arrangements for his service, Peggy explained why she remained in such a tough marriage for 34 years.
“I stayed because of the whimpering little boy I knew inside, the child who cried at night,” she said.
“I knew the child who couldn’t sleep without waking up with this look of terror on his face.”
The boys were standing in line at lunchtime one day, two by two, and next to Marx was a disabled boy without his crutches. The school had taken them away.
The boy began to lose his balance, so Marx reached over and steadied him.
That night in the dark Marx was pulled from his bed, taken to the White House and beaten unconscious. The reason? When he had helped the disabled boy at lunch he had broken form.
Few people spoke of the beatings for decades. In fact, Frank’s younger brother, Johnny Marx, was also beaten at a reform school in Okeechobee around the same time, and the two never discussed it until two years ago.
That is also when the media began writing stories, websites were launched where the men could share their accounts, and a reunion was held in Brunswick, Ga.
Frank Marx was one of dozens who showed up, all with essentially the same stories, and when he scoured the crowd his eyes landed on one man in particular. He was sure this was the disabled boy he had helped all those decades ago.
“That’s him,” he said to Peggy.
He walked over and hugged the man, whom he hadn’t seen in more than 40 years. Neither said a word to each other. But both began to cry. Then they walked out of the room holding hands. This, from a man so tough he used to pull his own teeth with pliers.
It wasn’t until months later he learned that the man at the reunion wasn’t the disabled boy he took a beating for that day after all. It was a guy he had never seen before in his life.
But that’s how it was after all those years and all those awful memories. The White House Boys were an unbreakable family, even though the only thing many had in common was a leather strap and a fear of sleeping in the dark.
“He fell in love with all those guys,” Peggy said. “It was like he had found his family. Because here’s a room with 30 or 40 guys in it and they all know he’s not lying.”
Meeting the other White House Boys certainly changed him. He got softer, kinder. Last Christmas, for example, he stood in front of a Walmart and raised money to buy food for underprivileged youngsters.
When store staffers asked him to sign a permission form so he could stand there, he had to admit he couldn’t write, which was humbling. But he didn’t care. The children were more important than his pride.
For his fundraising efforts, Marx was named the 2009 Man of the Year by the White House Boys organization.
The last few years were easily the best in his marriage to Peggy, and he even went to each of his ex-wives and apologized for his past behavior.
And yet, even in his final days, there was one thing he couldn’t do.
He couldn’t forgive that strap-swinging one-armed man.
ALONE NO MORE
The original diagnosis was lung cancer. Marx went through 19 aggressive chemo treatments and 25 radiation treatments, and yet he only lost 6 pounds and kept his hair.
He was getting five phone calls a day from different White House Boys. Peggy was getting even more at night.
When he needed to call someone back he pulled out the White House Boys phone book Peggy had made for him. The phone numbers were next to pictures of the men instead of their names.
“Hey, man, you’re a White House Boy,” they’d say to him. “You’re going to beat this thing.”
And when he found out the tumors were in remission, he turned to Peggy and said: “The White House Boys pulled me through. My brothers pulled me through.”
It was only in the last two weeks that he learned of the bone cancer that had spread through his body. He didn’t have much time.
Still, he told Peggy not to sell the motor home because they had a White House Boys reunion go to in the fall.
In the final days, the things he said didn’t make sense, but when a White House Boy called him something seemed to happen. “He’d get on the phone and talk to those guys and his voice would be strong and clear and alert,” Peggy said.
The morning after Marx’s death, Peggy received at least 75 calls from White House Boys, and some couldn’t finish speaking. They just cried and hung up.
“It was just as important as my own brother passing,” said Jerry Cooper, who lives in Cape Coral.
ONE FATE, ONE SHIRT
The end of Marx’s life was as rough as its start, even though Peggy said, without a trace of hesitation, that being beaten in the White House was worse than having cancer.
His condition was deteriorating fast, and it was clear he would die without seeing any justice, at least from the state of Florida.
He was so cold that he would have to take a hot shower every hour.
When he came out, Peggy would offer him a dry, new shirt. No, he didn’t want one. He insisted on wearing his White House Boys T-shirt. He never wore T-shirts, but he wore this one for three straight days until he drew his last breath.
As his body was being removed from the house, a hospice worker offered to change his shirt, maybe put something on a little more dignified.
A little more dignified?
No, Peggy said, he was going to be cremated in that White House Boys T-shirt.
Then she added: “I think he’s earned the right to take it with him.”
hn Bordnax, 66, one of the White House Boys, wears his shirt at a memorial service for Frank Marx on Saturday. The men, who share a painful past, have found one another in recent years. In Marx’s final days, he refused to wear anything but his White House Boys shirt. STAFF PHOTO / THOMAS BENDER
BELOW ARE ALL THE POSTS ABOUT FRANK, FROM WHEN HE FIRST WAS DIAGNOSED, UNTIL HE PASSED. I thought this would be the best place to archive them from other places on the website.
NK YOU FROM PEGGY MARX:
Most of you know me, and for those of you who don’t — I am proud to tell you i am Mrs. Frank Marx, the wife of a White House Boy. I must tell you it has been a tough job to act as treasurer for the WHBz, but an honor to do it for my husband as well as all of you.
This has been a hard year for Frank and I. As most of you know, Frank lost his battle with cancer on Aug 17, 2010. But, I am compelled to tell you his last months were filled with calls and visits and prayers from his WHBz — and they kept his spirits and hope alive for many month,s
My husband was always pround of his western heritage, and as most of you know, wore his western clothes and boots with pride all of his life–except his last 3 days. He refused to let me take his WHB shirt off — He would shower and put it back on. He seemed to gain strenth and peace from it. He spoke of you, his brothers, often in his last days — with a smile on his tortured face and made me promise not to give up the fight in his place — a promise I will keep until I myself can join him.
After he passed the hospice nurse was getting him ready for them to take him away she ask me which one of his western shirts hanging in the closet did i want her to put on him. I said, “no, he will wear what he has on — his whb shirt”. She said, “are you sure? He has some beautiful shirts.” I told her, “Believe me. He earned the right!”
He left our home in his WHBz shirt and hat and he was cremated with them on, so i know he wears them proudly on the other side.
My husband, like many of you, had a hard, complicated life, but gained so much peace from the WHBz . I cannot exspress enough how much you all meant to him. He was proud to call you brother. He told me he will be waiting for each of you when your turn comes. Oh that, I’m sure .
I will never be able to exspress my gatitude to each and every one of you who came to see him and called him. it meant more than I can say.
To Jerry Cooper: Jerry, I’m sorry he called you an ass, but you will never forget you gave him his last smile!
Babbs: you gave him all the love you had and he knew it
John and Mary Broadnax: He knew he could call you anytime for anything
as do i. Thank you, and thank you for standing in his stead as Sargeant at Arms
Dick: What can I say? He loved you with all his heart and so wanted to come to Baltimore — he talked about that all of the time. He loved you from the moment he laid eyes on you in Brunswick. He said he felt like he had known you forever.
Nate: He gave you all his respect and love
Johnny: No matter what, he knew you would make sure God was waiting on him. Bless you for you truly were his brother for sitting in the bed with him for countless hours, even if you enjoyed getting even with him more than he did.
Mike: He talked about his last fishing trip for days. Thank you so much. He loved you. How many people would put their life on hold with a 30 min notice ? You and Brenda did just that. I will be forever grateful.
Don: What can i say? You know how special your friendship was to him. He so wanted to go on the road with you and sell deep fried aligator. Je loved you with all his heart.
Ben: He wanted you to know that without your encouragement, he would not have even tried to fight the cancer and he may not have lived those last few month,s
Tom and Lori: Thank you for just being you. We love you guys. He loved it when you came to the farm; it was his favorite place in the whole world and he loved to share it with people he loved. He always wanted to do a WHBz cook-out there.
Harley Jim Deneyke: Frank always admired your hair cut. When you came and spent the 4th of july night with him, he was so happy, and for you to ride at 6am in a rain storm to get to him brought tears to his eyes for he knew you loved him and he would have done the same for you. I’m sure he’s keeping the presses hot in the back room waiting for you. Thank You My Friends.
Buddy and Marti: What can i say? A true friend is a true friend and the time you know one and other dosen’t matter
To all of you: I have but one final message from Frank: He asked that you keep him in your heart, for as he said he was taking you with him in his never give up the fight for justice — but most of all for the children
Mrs.Frank Marx – I am the wife of a WHB and proud of it!
IN LOVING MEMORY OF BROTHER FRANK MARX
News: (updated 8/25/10) — There is a beautiful memorial tribute website for Frank that you can view by clicking HERE:
Besides our GUESTBOOK, please take a moment to offer your condolences to the Marx family by using their new Memorial Website as well.
Frank Marx went to be with his maker on Tuesday, August 17th. As many of you know by now, beloved White House Brother, Husband, Brother, Relative, and Friend, Frank Marx, passed away on Tuesday night.
I believe I can speak for all the WHBz when I say that Frank was loved by many and will be dearly missed . Frank thought of others before himself. This past year, due to the many charitable projects he founded on behalf of the White House Boys (taking no credit for himself), he was named “Man of the Year” at the May reunion. Frank especially liked to donate to charities helping education — He wanted today’s children to have better opportunities than he’d had in his youth.
A Memorial Celebration of Frank’s Life was held on Sat., Aug 21st at 2pm at New Vision Life Church in Sarasota. Many White House Boys attended, to show sympathy and support to his wife, Peggy, and his brother, Pastor Johnny Marx, and their famililies.
If you could not attend, a sympathy card , email or personal note will mean a lot to Frank’s family. Whether you knew it or not, the frienships he made with other White House boys were very important to Frank. When the end appeared imminent, Frank especially appreciated your prayers and visits. As his health failed, he would perk up when his family or a WHB called or visited. Your visits “made his day” and “lifted his spirits”. Contact with family and WHBz gave him a reason to fight for his life, no matter how poorly he felt. Frank seldom, if ever, turned down a call from a member of his “White House” family.
Frank was a friend to all the White House Boys, and his infectious smile cheered many a brother or family member. Frank was a kind and gentle man and had a heart of gold – thinking of others before himself. It was more important to him for the Lord be glorified for his charitable deeds and the WHBs to be given the credit, rather than taking the credit himself.
Frank was cremated in his White House Boys Shirt, which he proudly wore, especially during the last week of his life. Reports tell me that NO ONE would have been able to take away his WHBs shirt, and his right to wear it. He will also be cremated in his hat, which many of you know as his “signature look”.
We are collecting comments to memorialize Frank on the Guestbook, We printed up the ones we had in time for the Memorial Service and presented them to Peggy. However, it is still not too late to write something nice about Frank now on the Guestbook if you wish.
The bible refers to our body as a “tent” that’s only purpose is to “house” our soul. It says (paraphrasing) that when a person goes to be with the Lord, they get a NEW body, which is incorruptable, and will not disease or decay! May you find comfort in the fact that Frank is no longer suffering and is “getting his new tent”.
As Peggy stated, “I am suffering the loss of “the love of my life”. May God comfort her and their family during this time of mourning, until they are reunited in Heaven one day. In the meantime, your calls, cards, and notes may comfort her.
REST IN PEACE, FRANK — OUR WHITE HOUSE BROTHER
ANOTHER WHITE HOUSE BROTHER (and ONE OF THE ORIGINAL FOUNDERS OF THE GROUP) HAS GONE TO BE WITH THE LORD
“We are dropping like swatted flies,” he wrote in an unpublished August 2009 essay, “and many of us will never live to see redemption in Tallahassee.” quoted from obituary by CAROL MARBIN MILLER of the Miami Herald.
Yes, we have lost yet ANOTHER White House brother! Michael O’ McCarthy passed on 4-9-10 during Same-Day Back Surgery. He died of a Heart Attack during the surgery, and never woke up, which brings the family some comfort in that they know he passed without suffering. However, we all know that his family and friends will suffer the loss of a dear husband, father, friend and White House Boy. Michael was one of the “Original” White House Boys and was an activist against child abuse. Please keep the Family of Michael O’McCarthy in your thoughts and in your prayers!
CORRECTION TO OUR ORIGINAL POST: Jennifer just called, She and Michael’s son are on their way back. Michael’s wishes were actually that his ashes be spread over Isla Marada, in the Keys, so that is what will be done.
She advised that, in lieu of flowers, Michael’s wishes were that a love offering be made to further the cause of justice for White House Boys or to any charity that helps Abused Children.
Here is his Obituary from the Miami Herald:
Here is another tribute to Michael from Pacific Free Press:
RIP Michael O’McCarthy – Published Poet, Writer Of Prose, Political Journalist And Blogger, Artist, Novelist And Friend Of Atlantic and Pacific Free Press Passes On
written by Richard Kastelein
Michael O’McCarthy Passed Away in Costa Rica yesterday. He called me just last week – as he did occasionally to shoot the breeze. Michael wanted to talk about the passionate piece he wrote about Dennis Hopper, who is terminally ill – and it was clear in his penning about the man, that he truly appreciated the sheer acting talent that Hopper possessed. Hopper in many ways, was a thespian illustration for his generation – a 60’s icon who bucked the system. Hopper’s brilliant film Easy Rider captured the national imagination and was a landmark counterculture film and the man was clearly important to Michael.
Calling me in the chill of northern Europe from the warmth of Costa Rica, he sounded happy. Michael was as energetic and inspiring as he always was. I was shocked to hear today that he’s no longer with us.
To give you an idea of the breadth of his work and drive to make the world a better place – he was not only a writer. Michael O’McCarthy is an internationally published poet, penner of prose, a political, journalist and blogger, artist, Research Fellow at COHA and a novelist. On good days he was a revolutionary humanist. On bad days, he simply hated the ruling class. He was, at heart, a true progressive activist.
Michael began writing at 14 as teen columnist for the Florida Keys’ Keynoter. During the 1960’s, he was a Left radical political organizer, prisoner’s rights advocate, poet and essayist and his essays and poetry were published first in England and the US.
He went on as a lead investigative writer of The Glass House Tapes, (Bantam), the exposure of the U. S. COINTEL, FBI secret domestic police a operation; political reporter for the Los Angeles Free Press; author of Visit To The White House, the first exposure of the state sponsored child abuse at the Florida School for Boys’ notorious White House, (Southern Exposure, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and anthologized in Growing Up Southern, Pantheon, 1982); Special Features Editor for the new Los Angeles Free Press; a features columnist for AOL’s political blog, The Stump and contributor to numerous anthologies on U.S. correctional systems; writer for numerous political blogs; Political and Editorial consultant to Pseudo Capitalism – Socialism for the Rich, by Stephen Bindman, Ph.D.
His final book was called Rebels in Hell, a revolutionary novel, (IU Press).
Rest in Peace Michael.
Atlantic Free Press writer Martha Rose Crow also recently passed away here in The Netherlands.
We will miss you both.
White House Survivor, Richard Larry Dees, Senior, passed away at age 70 on Thursday Aug. 23, 2012 surrounded by his loving family. He was born on June 4, 1942 in Fort Myers. He was the son of the late Lawrence and Bert Dees. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years Dorothea (Powell) Dees.
Richard had a lifetime passion for gardening, fishing, andand sports. Richard is also survived by sons Richard Jr. And Robert grandchildren R.J. And Tony. sisters: Linda Stieger and Debbie Sarriosister and brother-in-law Susanna and Byron Weathers and nephew James Weathers and extended family members. Richard was preceded in death by a son Ronnie.
Gathering for family and friends located at 208 Bryan Oak Ave. Brandon FL 33511 Sept. 9 at 2 PM. Serenity Meadows Memorial Park Funeral Home & Crematory
On behalf of myself and my family we offer our most sincere and heartfelt condolence to the family of Brother Manuel Giddens and commend them to the infinite Father who will fold the arms of His love and protection around those who put their trust and confidence in him, may the peace that passes all understanding rest and abide in him now and forever. –Bill Willy Haynes WHB
Manuel Pop Pop,Manny,Man-ho,Bro,Dad Wayne Lennard Giddens Sr.
Hodges Funeral Home at Lee Memorial Park
12777 State Highway 82Fort Myers, FL 33913(239) 334-4880
Manuel Wayne Lennard Giddens, 64, of Lehigh Acres peacfully entered into eternal rest Monday, Jan. 18, 2010 at Hope Hospice in Cape Coral. He was a proud member of the White House Boys Organization, Grace Bible Baptist Church and the Organ Transplant Recipients of Southwest Florida. He is preceded in death by his son Thomas Lennard, his parents, Bert Lennard and Jeanette Shears, 1 brother, 3 nieces and 3 nephews. He is the loving father of John Giddens Sr. and Manuel Giddens Jr., beloved grandfather of 10 and great grandfather of 1 and dear brother of 7 sisters and 2 brothers. Manuel was born in Savannah, Georgia on March 1, 1945. Visitation will be held Thursday, January 21 from 11 am until the funeral service at 2:00 pm at Lee Memorial Park, 12777 St. Rd. 82. Fort Myers, FL 33913. Memorials may be made in his name to the Organ Transplant Recipients of Southwest Florida , Inc. c/o Janice Kearns, Treasurer 109 Tocopilla St. Port Charlotte, FL 33983. Arrangements by Lee Memorial Park
The following is a list of the names of WHBz that have passed (to the best of our knowledge)