Harry Owens White, 89, of Elkins, West Virginia and Middletown, Delaware, died peacefully, surrounded by family, on July 21, 2017, after a too-long battle with Parkinson’s, heart disease, and time.
Loving husband to Jane (Rowan) White for 33 years; devoted and spectacular father to Mary Kathleen White, Rebecca Anne Petlicki & Thomas; Jeffrey Owens White & Rebecca, and Cynthia Grace Schreiber & Mark. Proud grandfather to 6 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren, all of whom brought a sparkle to his eyes. Beloved brother to Kathleen Pearl and adored son to Maudie Grace; Proud Uncle to Patricia Ann Hayes Lowrie. He also leaves behind 3 loving stepsons and a large loving stepfamily.
Harry treasured family above all else. He loved his children fiercely and perfectly. After his divorce, he chose custody of the four of them, and they became a tight team of five. He quickly developed a handful of skills he hadn’t known before, from doing laundry to cooking up a weekly pot of the best vegetable soup you ever tasted, leaving cabinet doors open and pots and pans in his wake. He took his custodial skills seriously and couldn’t sleep at night until the four of them were home safe and sound. All three daughters learned that if you and your date spent too long in the car at the end of the evening, there was a good chance he’d choose that late-night hour to come out of the house in his bathrobe and loudly empty the trash.
He loved traveling to the Florida Keys every winter with his best friend and devoted wife Jane. He loved Elkins, West Virginia, and his time growing up there with Mom, Sis, and Babe. He could look at your face and instantly know it was time to offer a hug, punctuated with a drumroll of back pats. He loved basketball generally, Jerry West and the Lakers specifically, and the Elkins Tigers all-star basketball team of 1944 -- for whom he proudly wore the number 83 --passionately.
He was a lifelong republican, but a social liberal way before his time. He was an extraordinary listener, and he could be counted on to keep a secret. He was a brilliant letter-writer. He sang softly to his children and loudly in church. He was enormously charming. He was courageous.
A service of remembrance for Harry will be held on Wednesday, July 26, at 11:00 a.m., at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, 15 E. Green Street, Middletown, Delaware, with family visitation at 10:00 a.m. in St. Anne’s Great Hall. Internment will be private. In lieu of flowers, consider donating to Little Sisters of the Poor (185 Salem Church Road, Newark, Delaware 19713), or 3000 Miles to a Cure (brain cancer research).