Atlanta’s Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Works Dexter C. White will be remembered as a true public servant, friends and colleagues said.
“The City Atlanta benefitted tremendously from Commissioner White’s work ethic and professional experience,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, in a statement. Reed appointed White to both his posts in city government.
White, 51, died unexpectedly Monday. Memorial services are scheduled for today at 7:30 p.m. at the Murray Brothers Funeral Home in Atlanta and Saturday at 11 a.m. at Zion Hill Baptist Church in Atlanta. The family will announce details for a Sunday burial later. Murray Brothers Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
White was born Aug. 17, 1962, in Metter and graduated from Metter High School. He attended Tuskegee University and Georgia Southern University, and he served two years in the army before graduating from Fort Valley State University in 1988 with a degree in political science. White earned a masters degree in public policy and administration from Mississippi State University.
White worked for several city governments in Georgia, including leadership positions in Augusta-Richmond County, Dougherty County, and a seven-year stint as the director of public works in Macon.
In 2008, White moved to Richmond, Va., to direct the city’s public works department. He returned to Georgia in 2010 as the Interim Commissioner of the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management. He served the Atlanta Department of Public Works from April 2011 until his death.
“Not only was Dexter an integral part of the administration, but he was a good friend and fraternity brother to me,” said Atlanta City Council President Cesar Mitchell Tuesday, in an email.
Mitchell said White brought positivity and professionalism to his post. “Employees at every level and within each department had positive memories of the man who went over and beyond to be helpful to his fellow employee,” he said.
Mitchell said those who worked with White could depend on him to get the job done. There was never a constituent issue he was called to address that he didn’t resolve, Mitchell said.
White was also a member of numerous professional associations, including the American Public Works Association and the National Forum of Black Administrators.
“His ability to maintain positive relationships stretched far and wide as colleagues and mentors from other municipalities and professional organizations have reached out to offer support and condolences,” Reed said.
The Department of Public Works is planning a 3K run and walk in White’s honor to benefit his children and will announce details soon.
White is survived by his wife of 23 years, Robin White of Atlanta; daughter Zoe, 11; son Nigel, 16; mother Dora White; brother George White; and a sister, Jennifer Wilson.
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