Jane See White


Jane See White, 72, died Jan. 11, 2023 in Springdale, Ark. The Mexico, native had an award-winning 40-plus year career in newspaper and magazine journalism, including teaching  journalism as part of  the University of Arizona School of Journalism.

Born on Aug. 26, 1950, she was the daughter of Robert Mitchell White II and Barbara Whitney Spurgeon. White was a 1968 graduate of Mexico High School, and in 1972 graduated from Hollins College with honors and a BA in history and American studies.

At the age of nine, White began a dedicated journalism career as the founding Editor and Publisher of The Mexico Junior Ledger. The summer weekly newspaper covered neighborhood news. Publication of the Junior Ledger ceased when she began spending her summers at Camp Bryn Afon in Rhinelander, WI.

Upon graduation from Hollins College, White spent two years as a reporter for the Roanoke (Va.) Times, then moved back to Missouri as a feature writer for the The Kansas City Star.  There she earned awards for an investigative series regarding state-run schools for the mentally disabled, and another related to state psychiatric hospitals.

With success came the ‘big stage’ when in 1976 she transitioned to the Associated Press in New York City as an editor on the World Desk.  From 1978 to 1981 she was also part of an AP  six-person national writing team, writing feature news stories for datelines around the country.  Her work included covering the Love Canal, (NY) toxic crisis, exposing and examining the early controversy over health effects of exposure to Agent Orange.

White joined Medical Economics Magazine as a writer in 1982. Her progression with the publication included Professional Editor, News / Bureaus Editor and Head of the Editorial Division for national bi-weekly non-clinical  publication for office-based doctors.

In 1987, her passion for newspaper journalism led her back to Roanoke VA and the Roanoke Times and World News where she was the Deputy City Editor, then City Editor. Her responsibilities included daily and Sunday news coverage by 40 reporters and six assistant city editors.

White moved to Arizona in 1991, where she held various writing and editing roles for The Phoenix Gazette and The Arizona Republic, including Features Editor and Assistant Managing Editor.

From 2006 until her retirement in 2014, White was an Editor and Editorial writer for the The Arizona Daily Star.  Editorials White researched and wrote won first-place prizes from the Arizona Press Club, the Arizona Newspapers Association, and were included in nomination for the Pulitzer Prize. 

Between 1997 and 2014, White also shared her expertise and passion for journalism with future journalists, as an adjunct Professor with the University of Arizona School of Journalism.


White was an avid fly fisherwoman. Whenever possible, she would seek rivers and streams in various state and national parks to fish and hike. She also was an avid golfer.

White is survived by her beloved daughter Laura Mitchell White of Fayetteville Ark., her brother R. Mitchell White III of Sandy Springs Ga., her sister Laura White Erdel and her brother-in-law Steve Erdel of Columbia. She also is survived by nieces and nephews Bill and Ruth McClain of Los Angeles, Calif., Edward and Kate Erdel of Columbia, Mitchell and Alyssa Erdel of Washington D.C., Jane Erdel of Kansas City, Mo. and Robert White IV of Chicago, Ill.  She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Barbara White McClain.

A memorial service will be held in March.  In lieu of flowers, the family encourages memorial donations to The Missouri Press Foundation (802 Locust Street Columbia, MO 65201) or The Audrain County Historical Society (501 South Muldrow Mexico, MO  65254).