Pauline “Piane” Townsend White was born August 8, 1929 in Horntown, Virginia to the late Clara Pitts Marshall and Floyd Townsend. Whenever, Pauline was asked how she was doing, she would always answer “I’m holding on” but on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 she finally let go, and gently and peacefully fell into the arms of the Father.
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Pauline was educated in the Accomack County Public School System and was employed in several careers ranging from homemaking to care-taking, and the seafood industry, as well as the poultry industry. In 1956 she was united in marriage to William James White. For more than 30 years they resided in Accomack County and reared many children, until William preceded her in death. Until her health began to fail, Pauline was a faithful member of Dea’s Chapel United Methodist Church, the church of her childhood. She later joined in local fellowship with the Church of Christ in Keller, VA and remained engaged until she could no longer attend due to health issues.
Pauline held a special place in the hearts of everyone who knew her. Whether she was offering tender words of encouragement, stern words of chastising or a strong hand of correction all were touched by her. Throughout her life as well as during her illness, Pauline could be heard whispering; as she was praying. Her door was always open to everyone. She was there if someone needed a meal or if someone needed her to keep their children for an hour, a week, or even the summer. She was there if someone needed their hair done, or a seamstress, or a housekeeper. There really wasn’t anything that she couldn’t do! She was a full time care-taker for her mother, Clara, her son, Joel, her first husband, Sewell J. Handy, Sr., and other family members and friends, all of whom preceded in death. A countless number of children filled her home and the love and patience she showed them all was a true testament of strength, courage, and Christianity. Pauline truly loved the Lord and his people!
Pauline now joins the host of ancestral witnesses who preceded her in death including her two sons, Sewell “Junior” James Handy and Joel D. White. She leaves to celebrate her life and cherish her memories two sons, Deacon Morris “Pat” (Eunice) Handy of Atlantic, VA, and Pastor Bobby (Akilah) White of Virginia Beach, VA; four daughters, Vivian “Pam” White of Virginia Beach, VA, Robbin “Vickie” White Handy of Stamford, CT, Kimberly “Kim” White of Wattsville, VA, and Jackie White, Newport News, VA; nineteen grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; one brother, James “Brother” Townsend; four sisters, Mabel Lee Green, Dorothy Mae Poulson, Martha Tull, and Martha Townsend; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
“But when this life of labor is ended, and the reward for grace you have won. Oh the sweet rest prepared for the faithful. We’ll hear God’s blest and final, well done. Oh when I come to the end of my journey, weary of life and battle is won. Carrying the staff and the cross of redemption, He’ll understand and say well done.”