Wilford White

Birth Name:
Wilford Parley White
Birth Date:
September 26, 1928
Birth Place:
Mesa, Arizona
Death Date:
August 1, 2013
Place of Death:
Phoenix, Arizona
Cause of Death:
Heart attack
Cemetery Name:
Mesa Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Wilford "Whizzer" White was an American football running back in the National Football League for the Chicago Bears. His football career started at Mesa High School in Mesa, Arizona where he received first-team All-State honors as a junior and senior. He led his school to the state title in his final season, while rushing for 181 yards per game (a state record that lasted 46 years). White was known as "The Mesa Meteor" and "The Wizard of the Harmonica", until receiving the nickname "Whizzer" by the media. After high school White accepted a football scholarship from Arizona State University, leading the team in rushing from 1947 to 1950, with a total of 3,173 yards. In 1950, he had a season for the ages, his 1,502 yards rushing total (150.2 yards per game) led the nation and still ranks second in school history for a season. He also scored 22 touchdowns and 136 points, which ranked third in the nation and still are school single-season records. After college White was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the third round of the 1951 NFL Draft. He played two seasons until he suffered a debilitating knee injury that ended his career. After a couple of years rest White was a member of the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League but retired after one season.

Fun Fact

Perhaps White’s most famous play was when, as quarterback, White ran backwards over 48 yards when being pursued by Los Angeles Rams defenders. White ended up fumbling the ball at the one yard line, and a Rams defender recovered it and ran it in for a touchdown. In the NFL Films video, 100 Greatest Follies, White’s play was named the #3 greatest folly of all time. His son and Pro Bowl quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Danny White, said that he never saw the play until NFL Films showed it to him. Danny joked that White was probably so embarrassed that he obtained every possible copy of the film so that nobody would see it.

His son, Danny White, was a quarterback and punter for the Dallas Cowboys for 13 seasons.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Mesa Cemetery

1212 N. Center Street

Mesa, Arizona, 85201


North America


Map of Mesa Cemetery in Mesa, Arizona

Grave Location:

North View, Lot 1405, Grave 3

Grave Location Description

As you drive around the cemetery, go to the northern corner and park at the corner of 4th Street and E Street. Walking down 4th Street (unmarked between 3rd and 5th Street) back towards D Street, look to your right in the second row and you will find the upright monument of Wilford “Whizzer” White and family.

Grave Location GPS

33.440745, -111.83295167



Read More About Wilford White:

Videos Featuring Wilford White:

See More:

Red Ruffing

popular name: Red Ruffing

date_of_death: February 17, 1986

age: 80

cause_of_death: Heart Failure

claim_to_fame: Sports

best_know_for: A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Red Ruffington is the winningest right-handed pitcher for the New York Yankees and ranked the 9th greatest Yankee player of all time by ESPN sports. Ruffing was a member of six World Series championship teams with the Yankees, appeared in six MLB All-Star Games and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967. The Yankees dedicated a plaque to Ruffing in Monument Park in 2004.

Jack Concannon

popular name: Jack Concannon

date_of_death: November 28, 2005

age: 62

cause_of_death: Heart Attack

claim_to_fame: Sports

best_know_for: With only one winning season to his name, Jack Concannon was an as an American football player who played professionally as a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, and Detroit Lions.

Bump Hadley

popular name: Bump Hadley

date_of_death: February 15, 1963

age: 58

cause_of_death: Heart attack

claim_to_fame: Sports

best_know_for: Bump Hadley was an American Major League Baseball pitcher who began his career in major league baseball in 1926 with the Washington Senators. After 5 years he was traded and played for the Chicago White Sox (1932), St. Louis Browns (1932–34), New York Yankees (1936–40), New York Giants (1941), and ended is career in 1941 with the Philadelphia Athletics. The highlight of his career was his pitching skills with the Yankees helped to win three World Series Championships. As a pitcher he amassed a record of 161 wins and 165 loses with an ERA of 4.24 and a total of 1,318 strikeouts.

Back to Top