George E. White, a veteran of the Normandy invasion, died peacefully on June 1, 2016, at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, after a fall which resulted in a broken hip. During the final days of his life, his daughter Wendy A. Stone was by his side, along with many other family members. He was 94.
George was born on Oct. 27, 1921, in Oak Bluffs, the son of Antone F. White and Mary (Caton) White. George attended the Oak Bluffs schools. As a teenager, he went to work for his father Antone as a truck driver, delivering ice and other supplies across the Island.
George was drafted into the Army in 1942. He was assigned to the 83rd Division Artillery Battalion as a mechanic, and also served as his commanding officer’s driver. While serving his country, he participated in several battles and campaigns, including the Normandy invasion, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, Battle of the Bulge, and the invasion of Nazi Germany.
After the war ended he returned to the Island, and went to work for Colby Construction Co., where he learned to operate heavy equipment. He also worked construction jobs on the Cape, then moved to Michigan, where he worked on contracts developing large highway projects. In 1964, he and his family moved back to the Island. George then joined his three brothers, Joseph, Albert, and Lester, at White Brothers Construction Co.
Over the years the White Brothers developed the business into a very well-known, highly respected, and successful Island enterprise. The business was sold in 1995. George was always a hard-working man, and continued to work part-time for the new owner well into his 80s.
George was a member of the Oak Bluffs Volunteer Fire Department, a member of the Masonic Hall, and a lifelong member of the P.A. Club, to mention a few organizations. George was a well-respected, soft-spoken, gentle man. He was quick to tell stories of his many experiences in life. Whenever he started to relate a story, he would say “To make a long story short,” which we all knew would not be short.
George enjoyed spending time with his family. He traveled to Alabama, Hawaii, Florida, and the Panama Canal Zone, where he enjoyed spending time with his daughter Wendy and her family. He also enjoyed time spent with his stepchildren and their children. George will be missed by many.
In addition to his parents, his sisters Evelyn White, Mary Eglinas, and brothers Joseph White and Lester White all preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his former wives Susie (Rose) White and Hilda (Benefit) White.
George is survived by his wife Eileen C. (Sylvia) White; his children Georgianna White, Robert White, James White, and Wendy Stone; his two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild; brother Albert White and sister Katherine Mazza; along with many nieces and nephews; and stepchildren Michael Lima, Sylvia Capelli, and Lisa Healy and their children.
The family would like to thank all the people who sent cards, flowers, and brought food to the P.A. Club for the celebration of George’s life. A special thank you to all the nurses and staff who attended to him while he was in the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. A very special thank you to Hope Hospice for the loving care they provided to George during the final months of his life. George’s cremains were interred at the Sacred Heart Cemetery of Oak Bluffs on June 13, 2016.
Donations can be made in George’s memory to: Hope Hospice, 765 Attucks Lane, Hyannis, MA 02601.