Dexter White, former director of Macon’s public works, dies at 51

Former Macon Public Works Department head dead at 51

adrury@macon.comDecember 17, 2013 

Dexter White Oza

072402 Photo by Nick Oza.Mug of Dexter White, city of Macon Public Works Department.

Dexter White, the first department head that former Macon Mayor Jack Ellis appointed when he took office 14 years ago, has died. White was 51.

The cause of death was not immediately available.

White, who served as Macon’s director of the Public Works Department from 2000 to 2007, was deputy commissioner of public works in Atlanta at the time of his death.

“He was very professional and very detail-oriented,” Ellis recalled Tuesday. “He stayed in his lane and didn’t try to be anything that he wasn’t. He wasn’t afraid to get in the ditches and set an example.”

After Ellis and White both had left City Hall, they later worked together again, Ellis said. Ellis was working as a consultant for Chester Engineering, and White was interim commissioner of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management.

“He was an all-around smart guy with a good sense of humor,” said Ellis, who recommended that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed hire White. “I appreciated that about him.”

A statement from the city of Atlanta said White helped establish the Public Works Department’s first sustainability initiatives in fleet management by adding compressed natural gas vehicles, electric charging stations and combined routes for solid waste pickup.

“Mr. White was a leader in the field of public works and (the) recipient of numerous professional accolades,” Reed said in a statement.

“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.”

White also held public works jobs in Richmond, Va.; Augusta-Richmond County and Dougherty County.

White is survived by his wife, Robin, and two children, Nigel, 16, and Zoe, 11.

A memorial service is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Murray Brothers Funeral Home, 1199 Utoy Springs Road SW in Atlanta.

A celebration of life service will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at Zion Hill Baptist Church, 6175 Campbellton Road in Atlanta.

To contact writer Andy M. Drury, call 744-4477.

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