ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Dr. Irvin (Jack) White, Jr., 88 years old, born on March 15, 1932, and passed away on February 15, 2021. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Michael and DeAngelis on March 28, 2021
Jack was a wonderful person. I first met Jack later in his professional life through the State Energy R&D organization, ASERTTI. As he contributed to many others, he became a mentor to me. Jack showed great patience, care and thoughtfulness in his activities. He loved good food and good wine. When he was in California, my wife and I would have him at our home for dinner. We always enjoyed his pleasant company. Jack lives on in the many people he touched throughout his life.
Posted by Gordon Mundell on March 26, 2021
We learned to introduce Jack White by noting he had four careers, which always led to a good conversation. But when he followed Mary to Nebraska in his last of many relocations, he began a fifth—accompanying spouse. He approached the role with good humor, intelligence, dignity, and iron determination. He was willing. He was open to new people, new activities, a new culture, and even Nebraska politics. He was willing to become a big brother, a project that extended over many years. He was willing to become a good friend, a project that involved about a hundred restaurant lunches and many deep, probing, and open conversations. He was willing to share both the high and the low points in his long life and what he felt he had learned from each. He came to be valued and trusted and, at long last, missed beyond words. 
Posted by Martha Gilliland on March 20, 2021
I met Jack in late 1973 when he and Don hired me to work on "Our Energy Future" and "Energy Alternatives." Both unfolded just after the oil embargo by OPEC. I was a very fresh Ph.D. and I guess they thought they needed a semblance of an ecologist and environmental engineer. It changed my life trajectory and created a life long friendship. With his mentoring, I learned to write for a public policy audience rather than only for science journals. Thank you Jack for that and your kindness.
Posted by Don kash on March 17, 2021
I met Jack at Purdue in 1967 and we moved to OU together in 1970 to start the Science and Public Policy Program. It was the beginning of a lifelong relationship that was both personally and professionally invaluable. Jack was loyal, warm and willing to point out my goof-ups. He had what a friend of ours called "Presence". He had, however, one flat-side. He always wanted to have high quality food and wine, I thought it cost too much, and you always had to fight him for the check. Damn I miss him.
Posted by Mary Hamilton on March 17, 2021
The last time I saw Jack was just before his birthday in 2020. I was able to get to Lincoln and have lunch with him. He was much calmer than I had last seen him and much more caring and sweet. I was looking forward to returning the following weekend to celebrate his birthday. Half way through the week the covid shut down started which meant The Knolls would not allow anyone in from then on for many months.

Posted by Mark Rea on March 17, 2021
Jack changed the trajectory of lighting though the creation and the nurturing of the Lighting Research Center (LRC), the world’s first research and education enterprise in academia. As President of NYSERDA, Jack created the mechanism needed to start the LRC and through continued mentorship ensured its success. As a humorous tribute to Jack, the Father of the LRC, we printed counterfeit dollar bills with his image. Jack and I continued to have a close mentor-mentee relationship well past his retirement. 
In addition to changing the world, Jack made a large, positive difference in my life and undoubtedly in the lives of many others. He has no replacement on this Earth and will be sorely missed by the many he loved and who loved him.

Mark Rea
Former LRC Director
Posted by Andy Vesey on March 17, 2021
I had the honor of working at NYSERDA under Jack’s leadership. I was in my late twenties and quite cocky. I think Jack must have noticed that cockiness and decided he needed to make an intervention. Jack’s intervention was offered in the form of teaching and mentoring. It felt like warmth, friendship and caring. I can identify in my career three mentors, three individuals who profoundly impacted my life both professionally and personally. Jack was the first and it is to his words and teachings that I still fall back on today almost 40 years later. To touch just one life in such a meaningful way is a life well lived. I know that he touched many. He did good well!


Posted by Matthew White on March 16, 2021
One thing I feel Jack would say is to not let a loss hold you back from doing great things, he is one of the wisest men that I know and will be greatly missed
Posted by Linda and Gunnar Walmet on March 16, 2021
To know Jack White, was to like him. He was a kind, intelligent, and humble human being. He was a well respected president of NYSERDA, and encouraged collaboration and competition to ensure the best outcome possible. Jack also loved his dogs, and went out of his way to accommodate them, especially as they aged. We will miss him. 
Posted by Bill Valentino on March 16, 2021
Jack White established the professional foundation for an organization, NYSERDA, which to this day continues to provide significant environmental benefit to the people of the state of New York. Through Jack’s initiative a national organization ASERTTI provides these benefits across the country. His leadership was essential for the success of these organizations.
Not only was he a mentor, but he was also a good friend.
Bill Valentino
Posted by Mary Hamilton on March 16, 2021
Jack LOVED little children. He had a rule that if he was in the office and someone brought a child or better yet, a baby, they MUST bring the child/baby to his office for him to see it and hold it!! 
Posted by jameson white on March 15, 2021
As I knew him, Grandaddy Jack was kind, intelligent, and loving. I remember always making him smile and laugh when we came to visit, whether it was taking the dogs on a walk together, playing different board and card games, going out to eat, or going to fun places like parks and museums. I will always cherish my memories of him and I know he will be watching over me as I start my journey into college and adulthood. We love you so very much and you will be missed.
Love,
Jameson (Sweetie- I used to love the way his voice sounded when he called me that :))

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Michael and DeAngelis on March 28, 2021
Jack was a wonderful person. I first met Jack later in his professional life through the State Energy R&D organization, ASERTTI. As he contributed to many others, he became a mentor to me. Jack showed great patience, care and thoughtfulness in his activities. He loved good food and good wine. When he was in California, my wife and I would have him at our home for dinner. We always enjoyed his pleasant company. Jack lives on in the many people he touched throughout his life.
Posted by Gordon Mundell on March 26, 2021
We learned to introduce Jack White by noting he had four careers, which always led to a good conversation. But when he followed Mary to Nebraska in his last of many relocations, he began a fifth—accompanying spouse. He approached the role with good humor, intelligence, dignity, and iron determination. He was willing. He was open to new people, new activities, a new culture, and even Nebraska politics. He was willing to become a big brother, a project that extended over many years. He was willing to become a good friend, a project that involved about a hundred restaurant lunches and many deep, probing, and open conversations. He was willing to share both the high and the low points in his long life and what he felt he had learned from each. He came to be valued and trusted and, at long last, missed beyond words. 
Posted by Martha Gilliland on March 20, 2021
I met Jack in late 1973 when he and Don hired me to work on "Our Energy Future" and "Energy Alternatives." Both unfolded just after the oil embargo by OPEC. I was a very fresh Ph.D. and I guess they thought they needed a semblance of an ecologist and environmental engineer. It changed my life trajectory and created a life long friendship. With his mentoring, I learned to write for a public policy audience rather than only for science journals. Thank you Jack for that and your kindness.
his Life

The early days - Hertford, NC

Sonny, as he was called until age 14, and then Jack for the remainder of his life, was born at home in Hertford, NC, March 15, 1932.  Jack was the youngest of three children.  Both his parents were dead by the time Jack was eight years old, so family became even more important to him throughout his years.  Jack and his sisters Frances  Mickey and Katherine White grew up with grandparents, aunts and uncles in North Carolina.  After his parents’ early deaths he lived with his grandparents Clarence and Alethia White and aunts and uncles.  They had large family suppers most Sundays, and that was a tradition Jack carried on once he and his sisters moved to Tucson, Arizona.

Here is some information copied and pasted from Jack's document about the family tree:

Despite the negative impact of the Great Depression, we had a happy family life and a strongly supportive extended family, including our White and Winslow grandparents, numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. The Sunday ritual was for both sides of our family to gather at our grandparents. In my memories our Winslow relatives usually gathered at our Winslow grandparents for dinner, the mid-day meal. (The evening meal was supper.) The house and yard would be full of uncles, aunts, and cousins. There was no shortage of children to play with no matter what your age. Katherine remembers mock funerals, playing in piles of leaves, and playing croquet, among other children’s games. I also remember picking and eating grapes, sitting on the freezer while our uncles cranked the freezer to make homemade ice cream, and having lots of different kinds of treats, including pop corn, a large variety of cakes, pies, cookies, and candies. 

My memory is that on Sunday’s our family usually went to the Winslow gathering first. And later in the afternoon we visited our White grandparents. (Our father was known for his hearty appetite—my son Randy brings back memories of my father in this regard.) Serving big meals with lots of choices was a way of life, a way to show love, both by those who were preparing and those who were eating. (This is still true, i.e., that you show love by eating.) There were usually so many people to be fed that there were at least two tables and multiple sittings. 

Grub Street was in a nice neighborhood amidst friendly people and children of an age spectrum to which the three of us could relate. My closest neighborhood friend was Reggie Tucker. I also remember Reggie’s cousin, Paul Tucker. Paul’s family lived next door to Reggie’s family. He was older, in high school. He had the small kids like me do chin-ups. Our achievement reward was a stalk of celery given to us straight from his ”garden”. Paul was also my hero. I remember visiting him frequently when he was in bed recovering from a football injury, a broken leg as I recall. I vaguely recall that his brother, Bill I believe, was a pilot killed in World War II.

I remember sitting on the front porch with my mother and sisters in the late afternoon waiting for father to come home from work. At the first sight of our father’s car, our mother would rush into the kitchen to put the homemade rolls in the oven.

But this domestic bliss was not to last. Tragedy struck the family in 1938/1939. I don’t remember all the details, but our father began to have symptoms that led to his being hospitalized in Norfolk. At the time Hertford had three physicians. Medicine was not yet a science. We have no factual information about his case. Frances always thought that he had prostate cancer. But my own physicians say that it was highly unlikely that was what killed him, he was too young. They say someone his age dying of prostate cancer would have made it into the medical journals. My guess is that he either had colon or stomach cancer. He died on November 13, 1939. Katherine remembers that our mother stayed in Norfolk during the entire time our father was in the hospital there.

Our Mother was left with three children, no income, and no marketable skills in a small town during a severe economic depression. Shortly after our father’s death our entire family moved to live with our Grandfather Winslow—our Grandmother Winslow was no longer alive. He lived in Whiteston, Perquimans County, NC. Our Grandfather, a casualty of the Great Depression, still operated a country grocery store, which in its hay day was known as Little Baltimore. (He went to market in Baltimore MD.) We didn’t live there very long before we moved back to Hertford. We moved into an apartment in a private home just across from the elementary school on Academy Street. Our mother’s efforts to find employment were unsuccessful. She died an accidental death on September 3, 1940. Frances was 15, Katherine was 13, and I was 8. 

Our extended family took us in. Frances went to live with our Uncle Sidney and Aunt Elizabeth Winslow in Rural Hall, NC, where Uncle Sidney was the High School Principal. Katherine went to live with our Grandfather Winslow, Aunt Winnie and Uncle Tom Riddick in Whiteston, and I went to live with our Grandfather, Grandmother, Aunts Dora and Bert, and Uncle Travis on a farm just outside Hertford. (Our Aunt Winnie became a surrogate mother to all three of us, continuing in that role until her death in 2004. We loved her as we had our own mother.)

High School and College

In 1947, Jack moved to Pennsylvania to live with his sister Frances and brother-in-law Delbert Mickey.  He graduated from Beaver High School, attended Penn State University on a NROTC scholarship, and joined Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.  Jack married his first wife his senior year at Penn State, Dr. Patricia (Pat) Ann Hathaway.  

Navy

Upon graduating from Penn State University where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi social fraternity, Jack became an officer and aviator in the US Navy.  He loved to fly and was known for his aircraft carrier landings.  He especially liked the Lockheed Shooting Star TV-2.  His sons were both born while Jack was in the Navy.  His first son, Randy, was born in Pensacola, FL.  David was born in Beeville, TX.
Recent stories
Shared by LaClaire Anderson on March 26, 2021
     Irvin Linwood, Jack, Sonny, my 1st cousin on the Winslow side, 3rd on the White's.  He was always Sonny to me. 
     He was a few months older than my brother, I can remember Sonny and Clinton taking Mother's umbrellas and jumping out the barn loft. It's a wonder they didn't break their necks, at least some bone, never did, thank goodness. 
     I can remember Katherine fixing lunch to take to school the next day, we were at Aunt Winnie's where she was living at the time, and she taught me to whistle.  What a milestone for me! 
     For a little girl who had never been outside North Carolina, except maybe to Norfolk,  VA  once or twice, it was always exciting  when Frances, Katherine and Sonny  came home,  they always had such interesting experiences and places they lived/had been/had worked.
    The last time I saw Sonny, we had a family reunion because whenever Frances and Del, Katherine, Mary and Sonny came home, we had to get the family together. They all stayed at a cottage in Nags Head on the Outer Banks. Frances fell the day before the reunion and broke her hip so she and Del stayed at the beach. We met at our cousins "party house" on the beautiful Perquimans River in Hertford.  Our Aunts, Grace and Winnie, were there, lots of cousins, fun visiting,  eating and remembering days of our youth.  We really missed Frances and Del but understood.
     Several years later, my husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to drive to Tucson 
to visit with Katherine, Frances and Del.
     I have so enjoyed the genealogy Sonny put together a few years back of his life.  What an interesting  life he led.  I am so proud to say he was my cousin. I'm just sorry we didn't get to spend more time together and haven't been able to get to know the next generations.    
     RIP, Irvin Linwood/Jack/Sonny.  I miss our Sunday night emails. 

Naval Training

Shared by David White on March 18, 2021
One of my favorite dad stories involved a training session during his Navy days.  Pilots had to train for the possibility of ejecting from their plane over water.  The training involved being thrown in a swimming pool in full gear and helping save your copilot.  Dad said, "If I had known then what I know now, I would have let him drown."

His copilot was Donald Rumsfeld - Secretary of Defense under President Gerald Ford from 1975 to 1977 and again under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006. 

My big brother /mentor / great friend

Shared by Matthew White on March 16, 2021
Jack,Mary, and I met some time ago, to be completely honest it’s been so many years I’ve lost track. Jack taught me so much over the years and was a great influence on myself and anyone he met, he was one of my biggest role models in life and I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor (Mary included) and it just won’t be the same without him. One of my greatest regrets is not telling him how much he meant to me and also not getting to say goodbye one last time.