Mr. White, of Salem and formerly of Keizer, died Wednesday, July 7, 2010. He was 93 years old.
Born June 2, 1917, in Collinston, La. to William Spencer and Commie Juanita Thompson White, he grew up in Bastrop, La. as the fourth of five children. He attended Ouchita Parrish High school before joining the U.S. Navy in 1936.
Before World War II Mr. White served aboard the USS Astoria, at one point escorting the remains of the Japanese ambassador to the United States for burial in his homeland, and was one of 400 crew members participating in the funeral march and 13-course meal on the Imperial Palace grounds.
During World War II he served aboard a destroyer in the north Atlantic and in 1942 was transferred to the Pacific theater, serving as chief boatswain mate on the USS Halligan, participating in all major battles and landings in the Pacific. He participated in the Battle of Okinawa in a fire suppression unit.
On March 26, 1945 his ship struck a mine, and Mr. White was blinded and suffered burns over most of his body. He was the only surviving chief petty officer.
Mr. White wed Ruth Vernon on Oct. 13, 1941, and the family lived in Guam, Japan and San Diego.
After his navy retirement he managed Tools and Metals in El Jajon, Calif. until his retirement in 1979. He was a volunteer for the San Diego Food Share before moving to Oregon in 2002.
He attended Keizer Church of Christ and enjoyed mowing his lawn, Bible study and planting summer vegetables.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Lois and Ruth; and two brothers, Cedric and Lamar “Sonny.” Survivors include: his wife, Ruth Vernon White; son, Dave White; daughter, Dell (Rich) Ford; five grandchildren, Davina Caruso, Melissa White, Danielle Kissinger, Wendi and Martin Johnson; and seven great-grandchildren, Alyssa, Davin, Jadin, Jericho, Jesse, Sage and Tyler.
Viewing will be from noon – 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Home in Salem. Memorial services and reception will be 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Thursday, July 15, at Keizer Church of Christ. Interment with full military honors is at 3 p.m. at the Veterans’ Cemetery in Portland.