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Mental health pioneer dies at 73

By Staff
From staff reports
Dec. 21, 2000
Dr. Reginald Pace "Chuck" White, former director of East Mississippi State Hospital and first executive director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, died Tuesday at Riley Hospital. He was 73.
Services for White were held today at 11 a.m. at Barham Funeral Home chapel.
White was named director at EMSH in 1964 after working at Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield for nearly a decade. He left EMSH in 1974 to accept the new position with the state, where he remained until 1975.
Until 1979, White was medical director of Weems Community Mental Health Center. He returned to EMSH in 1980 for a second term as director. Since 1981, he had maintained a private practice in psychiatry.
Meridian attorney Bill Ready agrees.
A native of Lauderdale County, White completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Mississippi in 1949. He earned his medical degree at the University of Tennessee in Memphis and completed a residency in psychiatry at Mississippi State Hospital and the University of Louisville in Kentucky.
He was a member of the Mississippi Board of Mental Health, having been first appointed for a seven-year term in 1981. During that time he served as vice chairman from 1982 to 1983, and chairman from 1983 to 1984. He was appointed to his second term on the Mississippi Board of Mental Health in 1995, and again served as its vice chairman in 1998 and chairman from June 1999 to June 2000.
White served in many other professional capacities and received numerous honors for his work, including being named clinical instructor and clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
He was chosen to be a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging, and authored numerous publications on mental illness. In 1972, he received the Liberty Bell Award for community service from the Young Lawyers Division of the Lauderdale County Bar Association and the Robin Award for community service from the Mississippi State Medical Association. He also received the Governor's Outstanding Mississippian Award in 1975 and the Mississippi Council on Aging Governor's Award in 1976.
He was a resident of Bailey and a member of Central United Baptist Church.
The family requests memorials be made to the Dr. R.P. White Memorial Fund, c/o East Mississippi State Hospital, P.O. Box 4128, Meridian MS 39304.

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