We lost a legend and steel icon the morning of January 15th 2021. Robert John (Bob) White passed away peacefully in his sleep at home in front of the ocean exactly the way he had wanted to. On his last night as he was falling asleep, he said he was hitting a home run and the crowd was going wild.
Bob was a catcher for the Baltimore Orioles but always considered his biggest catch of his life to be his wife. They met on the beach in Galveston while she was on vacation and he saved a man out of the ocean who was drowning. His wife, who was a model, decided to stay in Texas and marry him instead of leaving for Paris to be in Vogue Magazine like she was supposed to – a horrible decision we all owe our lives to, yet make fun of her for.
With his good luck charm by his side, Bob continued to hit home runs throughout his life and careers. From pool halls to party rentals to gyms, his entrepreneurial spirit was too strong to be anything but a success and a massively contagious inspiration and benefit to everyone around him. Sitting in an office job at U. S. Steel, Bob decided one day to leave and start his own steel company. It would be revolutionary and groundbreaking, and he would call it U.S. Alloys. He grew his business from a modest single-wide trailer in 1976 to a multimillion dollar sprawling internationally distributing steel company.
He got the ball rolling down the course for his son to become President and daughter to become Vice President. He always made sure his wife, Mary; three children, Laura, John and Jennifer; two grandchildren, Alex and Shannan; and one great grandchild, Isla, were all taken care of and having a good time.
Bob’s loyalty and his kindness to his employees, family and friends was unmatched. The Galveston Country Club, the golf course he said he only played on the days ending in Y, lowered their flags half-mast in honor of Bob White, the White Eagle, a nick name he earned as a highly skilled golfer.
Bob was born the youngest of three, his parents already having a son, Harry, and daughter, Pat, weren’t sure what to call him. And so the hospital, still without a name, had to name him “Baby Boy White” on his birth certificate. Weeks later and still nameless, his mom named him Robert John White, her doctor’s name. This start in life not only gave him his dynamic sense of humor but also his drive to leave a mark on this world.
Never one to leave the party early since he was the life of it and a pain in the best way for my grandma, few men could rival Bob’s character. Born and raised in the Houston Heights, he was tough, yet kind, a true class act, and extremely generous to all who knew him. He survived heart attacks, strokes, countless surgeries, bladder cancer, emphysema, and coronavirus. His daughter once joked he was a cockroach and nothing could take him out. Another name he learned to love eventually.
He loved his wife Mary for 57 years, if only we could all be so lucky. They don’t make love stories like theirs anymore. They had the most beautiful life together.
While his arrival was less than ordinary his departure was just as extraordinarily successful as his life. He left exactly when and how he wanted to after he made a name for himself, hit a bunch of life home runs and had some damn good fun doing it. He told us last night he felt like it was his time and he was right. He was always right. And always a gentleman, he stayed with us long enough to say I love you’s and goodbyes through the holidays and his 57th wedding anniversary. He stayed at the party until well after closing. It was time to go home. He wanted to leave. And Bob White does what he wants to do.
Due to Covid, his funeral service will be for immediate family and in lieu of flowers we are accepting donations for Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation, a Brittle Bone disease his youngest daughter has suffered from most of her life.