John Dudley White

Died: Fri., Mar. 17, 2017

Graveside Service

1:00 PM Fri., Mar. 31, 2017
Location: Olney Cemetery

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John D. White, 90, was born in Jerome, ID on October 17, 1926 and passed away March 17, 2017 in Kennewick, WA. He was the oldest of three children born to Ennis J. and Viola H. White. He was raised on a farm near Shoshone, Idaho. The family grew hay and grain, along with raising a few milk cows and sold the cream. They also fished and hunted. He graduated in a class of 23 from Shoshone High School in 1944. While completing his senior year at Shoshone, he also attended classes at the University of Idaho in Pocatello for a semester.


John was inducted into the Army on February 20, 1945 at the age of 18. He had four months of basic training at Camp Wolters near Mineral Wells, Texas, and completed his advanced training at Camp Rucker, Alabama. On a troop train (converted cattle car with seats) heading to Fort Ord, California, he was relieved to hear that the war had ended August 14, 1945. He was deployed in October to Manila, Philippines, where he worked in the Central Mail Directory, locating GIs’ addresses from thousands of 3 by 9 inch cards. He was transferred to Yokohama, Japan in February 1946, where he was responsible for dispatching and routing of vehicles. He returned to the States in October, and was honorably discharged December 20, 1946. He received the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Victory Medal, and Good Conduct Medal.


Upon returning from the war, John moved to Moscow, Idaho and attended the University of Idaho. During the summers, he held several jobs, primarily as a carpenter, including working at Hungry Horse Dam in Montana, Anderson Ranch Dam in Idaho, and for the Union Pacific Railroad.


In 1949, while at college, John met Maxine (Kirkpatrick) Farrell, and her three children (Mike, Pat, and Judy). He lived at her boarding house for a while. They began dating and fell in love. John graduated from the University of Idaho in Moscow in 1952 with a BS Degree in Agronomy, and on October 5, 1952, he and Maxine were married in Jerome, Idaho, with John’s parents and sister, Lucille, in attendance. The new family of five moved to the Tri-Cities area and had two children (Don and Connie). The whole family of seven lived briefly in West Richland, Seattle, Sunnyside, and Burbank, before settling in Kennewick in 1964.


John had various jobs between 1952 and 1966, mostly as construction millwright, carpenter, welder, or millwright foreman for various Hanford contractors and other companies. For additional income, he and Maxine pumped septic tanks on the side (White’s Septic Service, aka ‘Super Duper Pooper Scooper”). In May, 1966, he joined the Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) and worked as a maintenance mechanic and foreman. He loved working at the Hanford Generating Plant (HGP) and the people he worked with. He was usually the person they called on to do maintenance repairs on the Packwood Lake Hydroelectric Project. After having lung cancer surgery in 1982, John retired from WPPSS. However, he continued to work on short-term millwright jobs. He fully retired after having some minor strokes in 1985.


John was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church. He transferred his membership from Jerome to the Kennewick First Presbyterian Church in 1964. He helped work on the addition to the church, along with serving as a deacon and head usher. John was also a member of the Masons.


John enjoyed life and people. He rode motorcycles until he was 85, even though he would walk with a cane after getting off his motorcycle. He enjoyed pinochle, scuba diving, fishing, swimming, and river rafting, including a 16-day Colorado River trip with family and friends in 1991. He started snow skiing in his 60’s and waterskied into his 80’s. He spent years gold mining, mostly for the enjoyment of it, since he never did strike it rich. He and Maxine would go deer hunting to put meat on the table, and he got his last deer at age 84. He really appreciated the friends and family who participated in all these activities with him.


But most of all, John was a great husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He was always there for his family and friends. He and Maxine would ‘adopt’ folks who needed more help than they did, and they would visit friends in need. He had a strong work ethic, which he passed along to all of his children. He knew how to fix anything and everything. While John and Maxine never had a brand new car, he knew how to keep their cars running forever, and could tell you every car he ever owned. He also taught us to always boat upstream, in case you run out of gas or lose a prop and need to float back to the car. John and Maxine lived 46 years in Kennewick, and 37 years in the same place on Union Street, until Maxine’s passing in 2010. John continued to live there until moving to Ruan’s Garden in 2015, where he received excellent caregiving and love for the past two years.


John is preceded in death by his parents, and his wife of 57½ years, Maxine. He is survived by his sisters Katherine Susan and Viola Lucille; his children Mike (Carla), Pat (Max), Judy, Don (Lorraine), and Connie (Don); his grandchildren Myles, Kris, Lisa (Brad), Corissa (Jessi), Carrie (Fred), Kevin, and Steven (Kelli); his great-grandchildren Victor, Nola, Aiden, Landon, Everett, and Emma. A family graveside service will be held on Friday, March 31, at 1:00 p.m. at the Olney Cemetery in Pendleton, OR. A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the Kennewick First Presbyterian Church, 2001 West Kennewick Avenue, Kennewick, WA 99336. In lieu of flowers, donations to Kennewick First Presbyterian Church would be appreciated. Sign the register book, or send condolences to the family at


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Dick Rogers
   Posted Wed March 29, 2017
Sorry to hear of Johns passing. I owned Dicks Tirecap and John was a good customer of mine for years and friend later in life. When my wife was terminally ill, John stopped by my house for a visit, which was appreciated very much. I know he will be missed.

Elwin and Lura Ackerman
   Posted Thu March 30, 2017
We just wanted to express our sympathy on the passing of John. We delivered him meals on wheels for a year or so and just loved visiting with him in his home. What a wonderful man he was. Thank you for being such a nice family and taking such good care of him. We know you will miss him and we will also. He was always smiling and made a happy day for us.

Our deepest sympathy,
Elwin and Lura Ackerman

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