Local businesses offer to rebuild damaged Joe Tom White memorial bench, free of charge

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The late, beloved radio and television host broadcaster Joe Tom White and his wife Judy’s gravesite has been disturbed.

According to White’s daughter, Jody Lyons, a bench that was dedicated to the Whites was damaged earlier this year.

Lyons said officials with Crestview Memorial Park told her the damage was done by a storm, and because this kind of damage is not covered by insurance, a couple of local businesses have stepped in to help out.

“Just frustrated,” Jody Lyons, Joe Tom White’s daughter, said. “I put it on social media like, ‘Can you believe this? This is just frustrating.'”

That is how Lyons felt when she learned that her parents’ grave site had been damaged.

“When I reached out to the cemetery, they said that a storm had come through and had damaged three benches,” Lyons said.

Because insurance does not cover act of God instances, Lyons said the bench would cost almost $3 thousand dollars to be replaced.

To relieve the family of that burden, family friend Zachary Taylor made some calls to Austin Stone and Monument and Owens and Brumley Funeral Home, who agreed to replace the bench for free.

“I sent him an email stating what had happened and I sent him the pictures and it went from there,” Taylor said. “It was just really great to know that people in our community still care for one another.”

“It was amazing. I’ll be honest I cried. I got Austin’s number and called him immediately and we coordinated back and forth and talked back and forth,” Lyons said.

Lyons said her father was a big supporter of the community, and that this gift would mean so much to him.

“The one thing I asked them to do I said ‘on the back of the bench, I would like you to have Austin Stone and Monument and Owens and Brumley donated this bench,'” Lyons said. “I said, ‘That would make my dad really really happy. He was an advertising man and he would love that advertisement on the back of the bench.'”

Taylor said White was his hero and that he’s just happy to help out the family.

“My grandparents owned their own business for years,” Taylor said. “They taught me how to take care of each other and others. And I think that’s a very big part that we need to follow now.”

Friends and local businesses are stepping up to take care of the beloved talent who loved ones said always put his community first.

Lyons also said Austin Stone and Monument hopes to get the bench up very soon.

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