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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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January 25, 2022

11/19/2021 5:29:00 AM
Jerome "Jerry" White

Jerome "Jerry" White passed away Nov. 13, 2021 surrounded by his beloved wife and family. Jerry is survived by wife Betty, daughter Patti (John), sons Paul (Kristy), Phil (Krista) and Patrick (Kim) and grandchildren Brandon, Josh (Helen), Morgan, Logan, Ethan, Makenzie, Megan and Mason.

Jerry was born July 6, 1933, into a farm family of 12 children in Morristown, Minn. His was a family deeply rooted in faith and fairness. These values were foundational through his long and fruitful life.

From 1952-1960, he earned a degree in automotive mechanics from Mankato Area Technical College, served in the Army as a wheeled mechanic at Fort Richardson, Alaska and earned a BS in industrial education, sociology and social science from Mankato State University.

In the early 60s, he held various teaching positions in Minnesota and Wisconsin until he moved to Rhinelander as the first instructor of woodworking at the Area School of Vocational, Technical and Adult Education (now Nicolet College). Over his 22 years at Nicolet, he taught woodworking and auto mechanics and was especially proud of the welding program that he helped establish which is now highly regarded.

No stranger to hard work, he constructed two circular sawmills and formed "White's Sawing Service" in 1970 to provide custom and contract sawing during the summer months. After retirement he continued to work in various capacities including using his skills and expertise for decades at Ace Welding. Even his woodworking skills never lay dormant as he put them to work creating treasures for family and friends.

In 1963 he met Betty, the love of his life and wife of 57 years. Working skills morphed into family fun - together they created memorable experiences for their family as it grew: a backyard ice skating rink, a Pirate-themed summer holiday, and birdhouses for the family to personalize and decorate.

As a boy whose father played the saw and fiddle and mother who played the piano, it was inevitable that Jerry would have the music gene. He sang to his bride as she walked down the aisle. And his beautiful bass singing voice could be heard in the church choir, men's quartet, Nicolet Male Chorus, Lakeland Barbershoppers and around the house to the delight of all his captive audiences!

Grandpa Jerry was well-known for his goofiness and silly faces, and family and friends delighted in his wry sense of humor.

Jerry had an unwavering commitment to seeing downtown Rhinelander be safe and convenient for all. He spent years researching and advocating improvements for snow plowing techniques. His purpose was driven by his own understanding of the challenges Rhinelander's elderly, handicapped and wobbly citizens faced when trying to access city sidewalks in the winter.

Visitation for Jerome will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. with funeral services following at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, all at the Carlson Funeral Home. Reverend David Elleman will officiate. A complete notice will follow shortly. You may also leave your private condolences for the White family at

The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the White family.

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, December 9, 2021
Article comment by: Holly Kollenbaum

Dear Betty and Family,
I am so sorry fo ryour loss. I have sych wonderful memories of your family adn the times I spent watching the kids in the summer. You will be in my prayers as you face this loss. Holly Kollenbaum (Virginia and George Bentley's daughter)

Posted: Friday, November 19, 2021
Article comment by: Marlene Walrath-Skinkle

Betty, Patti,Paul , Patrick and Phil, so very very sorry to learn of Jerry’s passing. My love and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Will be praying for you all in the days ahead as well.

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