Mike White passed away quietly at the age of 86 at Vernon’s Hospice House, on July 28th 2005. He is survived by his loving wife Jean (currently in Noric House), elder sister Ema Chala, daughters Alora Nelson (Wayne), Alana Radmore and son Steve White (Sarah Rose). In addition there are four surviving grandchildren: Jason and Vanessa Toal, Jennifer Willis and Emily Rose White, as well as one great grand child, Olivia Willis.
Only two years ago Mike and Jean White celebrated 60 years of marriage with a small gathering of family and friends at All Saints Anglican Church. Mike and Jean met on the dance floor at Victoria Normal School in 1938. Although we have had a good deal of sport with this term, Normal School was where you went to become a BC teacher in those days. They were married at Christ Church in Hope, BC, August 25th, 1943. Jean, originally from Penticton, first taught elementary school in Hope and Johnson Landing. When the pair moved to Vernon she taught kindergarten at All Saints Anglican Church for 12 years.
Mike was the son of a Kootenay coal minor in Natel-Michelle and as a youngster somewhat of a local hero for his baseball prowess, nick-named “Babe White”. After Normal School Mike first taught in Rossville, then went to Edmonton to the RCAF to become a flying officer. They were married and he was stationed for the duration at Gimli Manitoba, training other young pilots to fly over seas. After the war he went back to school, graduating with a degree in Physical Education from UBC. They returned to Fernie where he taught PE in senior high school, moving to Vernon in 1949. Here he taught for 28 years at Fulton, Seaton High School and finally Silver Star Elementary where as vice principal he retired in 1977, at fifty eight.
Along the way Mike was active in the Vernon City Band, the Ray Scott Combo, the Eidelwiez Polka Band, BC Dragoon Band and with Jean, Vernon Secondary’s band parents association. The pair did two cruises to Europe as chaperones to high school students. Mike chaired the Legion Track & Field Inter-School meets.
Mike and Jean were blessed with a close knit circle of family and friends many of whom were teachers. Both Mike and Jean loved Salmon fishing and enjoyed seventeen summers at Campbell River, catching, canning and smoking fish. The quintessential family man, Mike White’s greatest joy was family gatherings and the recording of these events with his camera.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Vernon and District Hospice Society, 3506 27th Avenue, Vernon BC V1T 1S4 or All Saints Building Fund. Funeral Services will be held in Vernon at the All Saints Anglican Church, Wednesday, August 3rd at 2:00 pm. Reception to follow. Arrangements are in the care of Vernon Funeral Home. 542-0155