Jerry White

Jerry Lee White, 75, of Sweet Home, died Oct. 26, 2022, after a battle with colon cancer.

He was born Feb. 4, 1947 in Isabella County, Mich., to Francis and Freda (Terry) White.

Following his graduation from high school, Mr. White went on to college and then joined the U.S. Army in 1966. He deployed with the 131st Aviation Company and was honorably discharged in 1969 after nearly three years overseas during the Vietnam War.

When he returned home he went to work for General Motors before moving to Oregon in 1973.

Mr. White worked as a preschool teacher at Head Start for several years and in 1980 went on to work at Foster plywood mill until layoffs sent him back to college in 1997. He completed his associate’s degree at Linn-Benton Community College, then went to work for Hewlett Packard in Corvallis, from which he retired in 2014.

Mr. White married the love of his life Betty, in 1986. They raised their children together and were a stellar example of love, generosity, and patience. He was a man who wrote love letters to his wife just because he felt like it. He sent his daughters flowers even when it wasn’t their birthday and taught them how to properly use firearms.

Friends and family will remember him for many things, such as his total honesty, perfectly cooked ham, and wicked sense of humor. His children knew they could always come home. His brothers knew they could always depend on him. His mother knew she would always be cherished.  

Mr. White is survived by his mother, Freda White of Oregon; daughters Diana White of Oregon, and Melissa Dietrich of Oklahoma, and their spouses; son Joseph Milburn of Kentucky and his wife; bonus children Robert Shears of Minnesota and Celina Slater of Oregon, and their spouses; grandson Rally Graham of Oregon; granddaughters Mariah and Silvia Milburn, both of Texas; and brothers Ron White and Ken White, both of Michigan, Tom White of Arizona, and Mark White of Wyoming.

Jerry was preceded in death by his father, Francis White, in 1994; and wife Betty White (Grabeel) in 2015, after her own battle with cancer, which he fought by her side every step of the way.

Graveside service with military honors will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at Gilliland Cemetery.

Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.