A call to service
After returning home from fighting in World War II, Powdly experienced one of many life-changing miracles-love at first sight. While in a Decatur, GA, café, he introduced himself to a lovely woman sitting nearby and told her that he would be marrying her. After a whirlwind, two-week courtship, he and the love of his life, Irene, were married.
The couple would go on to spend 57 years together. As Powdly said, "Irene will always be in my heart."
Powdly and Irene were blessed with three daughters: Deborah, Michelle and Kim. Their oldest, Deborah, had difficulty walking without falling when she was a child. Fortunately, she had a wonderful experience at our Scottish Rite hospital, where her condition was treated successfully. Powdly and Irene were extremely grateful for the care their daughter received at Scottish Rite.
In 1968, tragedy struck the White family. Their three girls, then ages 12, 4 and 3, were killed in an automobile accident. Powdly was overcome with grief, but Irene rescued him, promising that they would get through it together.
Led by faith
From that point forward, Powdly began listening to his heart and letting his faith lead him to help others. Though Powdly and Irene were never wealthy, Powdly invested what he could into savings bonds. Over the years, he has gifted more than $250,000 to help his community, and Children's has directly benefited from Powdly's generosity.
Powdly's impact has traveled far and wide at Children's, purchasing medication for cancer patients, feeding countless children and paying burial expenses for families whom he would never know. His generosity has truly made a difference in the lives of the patients and families of Children's.
Shortly before his wife passed away, Powdly told her he would be naming Children's in his estate plans. She smiled and agreed that it was a wonderful idea to make such an impact on the institution they spent their lives supporting. Powdly has since accelerated his legacy gift by making current gifts of his savings bonds and seeing the impact in real time.
The legacy of Powdly White is one of hope—that good will come if we open our hearts and listen. As Powdly says, "Children's is down in my heart to stay."