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.  


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.

Graduate School

Jack left the Navy in 1963, to begin graduate studies in Political Science at the University of Arizona where he was awarded a Ph.D. with departmental honors (Summa Cum Lade) in 1967.

Professor White

Jack spent 13 years as a political science professor at The University of Arizona, Purdue University and The University of Oklahoma.  His dissertation’s subject to gain his Ph.D. was international law.  He worked with NASA and wrote a book about international space law in the 1960s about how to deal with things falling out of the sky - planes, satellites and space ships.  While somewhat far fetched then, he looks like a fortune teller now.  In February 2021, when United Airlines had engine parts falling off a Boeing 777 around Denver, I bet Jack's book would came in handy.

Love Story

May 6, 1978, Jack married Dr. Mary R. Hamilton - a dynamic duo if there ever was one.  No more children - Mary was stuck with Randy and David.  

Life After Teaching

Jack's final official year as a professor was 1980, and his final time in the classroom was a few years earlier.  He moved on to:

Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Acting Director of Strategic Assessment and Special Projects and Acting Director, Office of Exploratory Research 1978-1980

Assistant Director, Energy and Mineral Resources, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior 1980-1981

President New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), 1981-1991; Member of NYSERDA’s Board of Trustees 1984-1991

Senior Director, Energy Programs, U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 1991-1996

Senior Partner and Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, UTECH, which was renamed The Winslow Group, LLC 1996-2000

Association of State Energy Research and Technology Transfer Institutions (ASERTTI): Co-Founder 1990; Washington Representative 1997-2000; Executive Director 2000-2003; Executive Director Emeritus, 2003-2020

Jack Loved to Write

Jack wrote a few books, helped others write books, contributed to many journals and other sources.  He was considered one of the world's foremost authorities on low-level radioactive waste.  

Remember the oil embargo of the 1970s and the resulting impact on the U.S. economy?  That led to energy studies and the astonishing amount of energy that went into lighting.  In 1987, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), under the direction of President Irvin L. (Jack) White, led the charge by posting a request for proposals to fund such a center with $3.5 million over five years.  In March 1988, a proposal from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was selected.  That helped establish the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (LRC).  In 1991, Jack became the Senior Director, Energy Programs, U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Battelle).  I'm trying to tie LED lighting to this but will need someone's assistance that has knowledge of the lab's work. 

Here is a list of some writings:

Decision-Making for Space - Law and Politics in Air, Sea and Outer Space

Energy Alternatives - A Comparative Analysis - The Technology Assessment Group Science and Public Policy Program (contributor) 

Energy Environment Productivity - Proceedings of the First Symposium on Research Applied to National Needs (RANN) - Energy Under the Oceans - Science and Public Policy Program, University of Oklahoma November 1973 

Energy from the West - A Technology Assessment of Western Energy Resource Development  (University of Oklahoma - contributor)

Energy Impacts on Public Policy and Administration - Energy Impacts on Domestic and International Priorities and Policies (contributor) 

Energy in the Public Interest

Energy Issues and Options - Institute of Government - Policy Dimensions of the Energy Issue - University of Georgia (contributor)

Energy Planning, Management, and Efficiency in a Local Context (Senior Director - Batelle - contributor) 

Energy Policy-Making - A Selected Bibliography (contributor)

Energy Under the Oceans - A Summary Report of a Technology Assessment of OCS Oil and Gas Operations (University of Oklahoma - The Technology Assessment Group Science and Public Policy Program - co-principal investigator with Dr. Don E. Kash)

International Studies Quarterly - A Framework for Analyzing International Law-in-Action: A Preliminary Proposal - Volume 13, Number 1, March 1969

International Systems - A Behavioral Approach (contributor)

Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences - Energy in the Public Interest: U.S. Energy Policy 1973-2005 - Volume 95, Number 3, Fall 2009 

Law and Politics in Outer Space (contributor)

North Sea Oil and Gas - Implications for Future United States Development - The Technology Assessment Group Science and Public Policy Program  (contributor)

Pacing the U.S. Magnetic Fusion Program - Chairman/contributor

Ph. D. Dissertation - An Analysis of the Applicability of International Air and Sea Law to Legal Problems in Outer Space - 1967

Romania's Energy Sector - Findings and Recommendations of an American-Romanian Workshop (Senior Director - Batelle - contributor)

Water Resources Bulletin (American Water Resources Association) - Water and Energy in the Western Coal Lands (contributor) February 1979

The Western Political Quarterly - A New Political Frontier: An Analysis of Legal and Political Problems in Outer Space - Purdue University - Volume XXII, Number 1, March 1969

Before Jack Existed

This is a copy and paste from Jack's writing as he documented his family tree:

I don’t have adequate historical documentation to speak authoritatively about the early history of the Whites and Winslows. But based on what I have either read or heard, it seems likely that the American roots of both families can be traced back to a band of Quakers who, under the leadership of George Fox and Sir William Edmondson, came to northeastern North Carolina seeking religious freedom, perhaps as early as the 17th century. Our relative Carlton W. Rountree’s 100 Years Up The River (Greensboro, NC: Southern Publishers, Inc., 1966) tells “The Story of the Up River Friends Meeting, Belvidere, Perquimans County, North Carolina, from 1866 to 1966”) The “Significant Dates” Carlton lists include the following:

1672—The first religious service on record in Perquimans County was held in the spring under the leadership of William Edmondson, a Quaker minister. George Fox, the founder of Quakerism in England, visited Friends in Perquimans in the 9th month.

1680—The Perquimans Monthly Meeting Was established.

1794—Piney Woods Monthly Meeting was established.

1866—The first worship service of Up River Friends was held in a schoolhouse

1875—The first Up River Meetinghouse was built.

Our family has deep Quaker roots. One tangible example is that the land for the Up River Friends Cemetery, which is where our grandparents, parents, and numerous other relatives are buried, was donated by our Great Grandfather John Lanty White, father of our Grandfather Clarence Osmond White.

Our father, Irvin Linwood White (08/10/1905-11/13/1939), was the oldest of Clarence Osmond and Sarah Bertha White’s five children (Dora Elizabeth White Roberson 09/13/1907-12/06/1987; Travis Raymond White 11/27/1910-11/03/2001; Jesse Osmond White 03/02/1913-6/08/1948; and Johnny Quinton White 05/10/1917-02/16/1994). Following Sarah White’s death in 1917, our Grandfather married Alethia Ann Parker, the woman my sisters and I knew as Grandmother White. They had three children, James Carson White 04/21/1919-10/09/1993; William Otis White (09/19/1922-03/28/1924); and Bertha Mae White Bailey 05/21/1925-08/22/2004).

Our mother, Katherine Emma Winslow White (09/19/1906-09/3/1940), was the eighth of fifteen children born to Nereus Arthur and Susan Frances Winslow. The other fourteen were Julian Guy Winslow (11/27/1898-08/01/1915); twins born on March 27, 1900 Lindsey Clifton Winslow died on August 26, 1971 and Linwood Clinton Winslow died on August 9, 1971; Mary Eliza Winslow (09/30/1901-05/19/1902); Cecil Calvert Winslow (11/07/1902-07/30/1974); Martha Grace Winslow Smith (12/19/1903-09/23/2001); Sidney Arthur Winslow (02/07/1905-11/17/1975); Leslie Adolphus Winslow (08/15/1908-05/06/1909); Winnifred Evans Winslow Riddick (10/20/1910- 09/26/2004); twins Raymond Alexis and Randolph Pinkney Winslow born on March 8, 1912 Raymond died on February 12, 1982 and Randolph on November 28, 1990; Adelbert Vincent Winslow (10/20/1914-06/13/1915); and unnamed stillborn twins (09/23/1915.)

Our mother and father eloped to marry on April 22, 1924.  At the time they were 18 and 19 respectively. We were told that our mother wore her wedding dress under the dress she wore to school that day. They had three children, Bertha Frances White Mickey (02/5/1925-05/18/2007); Katherine Marguerite White (12/06/1926), and me, Irvin Linwood White, Jr. (03/15/1932--Frances and Katherine always told me that I was born on March 14th—my birth certificate records March 15th. I celebrate both days.)

Like many of the Whites and Winslows of their generation, our parents left the farm to move to a nearby town, in their case, to Hertford, NC. In addition to seeking other livelihoods, they also moved from their Quaker background to the Southern Baptist Church, though their Quaker ties remained strong.

Before marrying, our father taught in a Quaker school. After moving to Hertford, he sold insurance, he and our mother operated a dry cleaning business, and later he was a barber. I don’t know how long he was an insurance agent. And I don’t know when he and our mother operated the dry cleaning business. I have been told that the dry cleaning facility burned down just before Easter, when there were lots of garments in the building. I remember being told that arson was suspected. Since they didn’t have insurance, they lost everything. I don’t remember that time period. What I personally remember is when our father was a barber--in two different barbershops. Both were joint ventures, at least one of them with Raymond Skinner and Bill Jordan.

Our family lived in at least three different rented houses in Hertford, and one in Winfall. Frances, Katherine, and I were all born at home in Hertford. There is no record of where our parents lived when Frances and Katherine were born. But Katherine remembers that when I was born our family lived on West Railroad Avenue. The last house we lived in while our father and mother were alive was on Grubb Street, just down the street from Harris’ grocery store. The Harris family owned the house in which we lived. In addition to the Harris family our other neighbors included two Tucker families, both of which lived across the street from us.


All Work and No Play

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" is a proverb. It means that without time off from work, a person becomes both bored and boring. The exact origins of the phrase remain unclear, though it was recorded as early as 1659.  (I borrowed this from Wikipedia)

As I (David) worked on dad's obituary, I tried to think of what he did for fun and relaxation.  Dad worked.  And he worked.  And he worked.  I assume it came from being eight years old and having no parents in the Depression era.  As classes ended at school, while some kids played sports, played in the band or rehearsed plays, dad headed to the relatives he lived with and worked on the farm.  I think the work ethic was ingrained early in his life and he never took his foot off the gas.  
Jack’s idea of a good time was getting together with fellow political science professors Don Kash and Dick Wells and placing wagers on who would be nominated for presidential elections and who would win.  It was almost always business time, but Jack had a special place in his heart for rescuing racing greyhounds who had been retired.  Jack and Mary were/are huge dog lovers.

One of Jack’s other interests outside work was Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.  Jack and Mary were very involved with the program, and while no relation, have had an ongoing relationship with Mathew White through the program.

Jack was a terrible cook in his early years.  I swear his meatballs could be used for golf.  A few relatives thought his homemade spaghetti sauce left something to be desired as well.  In his later years he loved to cook and became much better.  When Jack and Mary would entertain, Jack’s go to dish was sea bass.
We did have a few family traditions.  When Randy and I were young, Sunday evenings were spent watching The Wonderful World of Disney.  We played lots of board games and cards.  We learned how to play bridge at a fairly young age.  When we moved to Norman, I spent many a Fall Sunday afternoon with dad pretending he was a Dallas Cowboys' fan (he was snoring minutes into the games) and me being a fan of whomever was playing the Cowboys.

Preceded in Death

Jack was preceded in death by his sister Frances (05/18/2007) and brother-in-law Delbert Mickey (06/22/2000), sister Katherine White (03/12/2020) and son Dr. J. Randolph (Randy) White (12/31/2017).

Survived By

Jack is survived by his wife of 42 years, Dr. Mary R. Hamilton of Omaha, NE; son David (Diane) White and their daughters Jameson of Tulsa, OK, and Bailey Fryer and her sons Noah and Pierce of Houston, TX; niece Katherine (James) Tune of Seattle, WA and their children Kate Krane (Bjorn) and their son Carter of Seattle, WA and Jeff Tune of Los Angeles, CA; niece Debra (James) Larson of Phoenix, AZ and their son Brian Larson (Sarah) and their sons Luke and Owen of Seattle, WA.; granddaughter Allison Carter (Steven) and their children Henry, Monroe and Brooks of Norman, OK; grandson Jonathan White and Anna Mantooth of Oklahoma City, OK; grandson Joseph Wharton (Danielle) and their son Rhett of Oakland, CA; and grandson Robert Wharton (Whitney) of Sacramento, CA. 

Jack's Mantra

Jack’s mantra was Do Good Well.  Later in life he wrote a family email almost every Sunday.  It would end with instructions imploring all of us to think of others and what is best for the masses, not what is best for us individually.

Turn Out the Lights, the Party is Over

Jack donated his body to science.  There are no plans for a service.  In Doing Good Well, he would love for you to donate your time and/or resources to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Big Brothers and Sisters of the Midlands

108131 Old Mill Road, Suite 400

Omaha, NE  68154