Wilford White

AKA:
Whizzer
Birth Name:
Wilford Parley White
Birth Date:
September 26, 1928
Birth Place:
Mesa, Arizona
Death Date:
August 1, 2013
Place of Death:
Phoenix, Arizona
Age:
84
Cause of Death:
Heart attack
Cemetery Name:
Mesa Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Sports
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

USA

North America

Map:

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

Photos:

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