Walter White, the Chiefs’ 1975 Mack Lee Hill Award winner as the team’s top first-year player, died on Wednesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 67.
In five seasons with the Chiefs, White appeared in 63 games as a tight end, including 37 starts. He started every game of the 1978 season. In his second season, White finished among the top 10 in the NFL in receiving yards and touchdowns.
In his career, White recorded 163 receptions for 2,396 yards and 16 touchdowns.
White, who played at Mesa Junior College in Colorado and then at Maryland, originally joined the Chiefs via waivers from Pittsburgh after being selected in the third round of the 1975 NFL Draft. He played his entire pro career in Kansas City.
In 1989, White became a founding member of the Kansas City Ambassadors, former players and team executives who represent the Chiefs in outreach and charity events. White was the group’s inaugural president.
White was employed at Commerce Bank in Kansas City for 22 years and most recently served as vice president of the bank’s investment group.
White volunteered his time to many local organizations, including Crime Stoppers, Camp Quality for Kids, United Way of Greater Kansas City, Score One for Health, and the Lake Regional Hospital.
White also was a musician, performing blues music.
“My family and I are saddened by the passing of Walter,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. “The Ambassadors are an integral part of the Chiefs family and the Kansas City community, and Walter was a vital part of the group’s development.
“It would be hard to find someone who embraced the values and work of the Ambassadors more than Walter did. We will never be able to thank him enough for everything that he did for the organization both on the field and in the community after his playing days concluded. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family during this difficult time.”
A tribute to White will be held Tuesday at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Main Sanctuary Building A, at 13270 Roe Avenue in Leawood at 10 a.m.