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In his last City Council meeting, Spartanburg Mayor Junie White honored with Order of the Palmetto

Tuesday, December 14

Spartanburg Mayor Junie White receives South Carolina's highest civilian award for lifetime of service


In his last meeting presiding over Spartanburg City Council, Mayor Junie White was presented with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian honor, for his service to Spartanburg. Presented by State Sen. Max Hyde and State Rep. Rosalyn Henderson Myers, the award was given to recognize Mayor White's lifetime of achievement and service to our community.


The 12 years he has served Spartanburg Mayor and the four years he served before that as a member of City Council have been some of the most prosperous times in our city’s history, with unprecedented private investment changing our downtown skyline and breathing new life into our community through inclusive community redevelopment efforts in the city's Northside and Highland neighborhoods. During Mayor White’s tenure Spartanburg has attracted new residents from across our nation and beyond, growing our city’s population for the first time in decades.


Born in Gaffney, SC to a family of sharecroppers, Junie White went on to serve his country in the US Navy from 1957 to 1961, and after marrying Irene Segal from Montreal, Canada, he returned to the Upstate, opening an Esso service station (later known as Exxon) in Spartanburg County along I-85 and moving his family to Spartanburg where he and his wife raised their four children.


In 1983, Mayor White moved his business to Downtown Spartanburg, where it thrived. Over the decades, as his success grew, Junie became a beloved icon of Spartanburg’s business community and one its most generous, caring, and philanthropic members. Countless stories of his compassion and fairness with employees, customers, and neighbors remain clear in the memories of those whose lives he has touched over the years and are evidenced to this day in the loyalty he and his business inspires among Spartanburg’s people.


In addition to the Order of the Palmetto, Mayor White was also given the City's Patriot Award. Mayor White will remain in office until Mayor-elect Jerome Rice is sworn in early next year. For more from Monday's City Council meeting see the full video below.