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Joseph M. White Jr., Ph.D.

Joseph M. White Jr., Ph.D.

Died: Thursday, November 18, 2004
Age: 77
Joseph M. White, Jr., 77, died on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004 at Bon Secour Hospital in Grosse Pointe.

Dr. White was the retired Superintendent of the South Lake School District in St. Clair Shores.

Upon his retirement, he stated, “The high point in my career has been the people I worked with. I couldn’t have asked for a better set of parents, students and collegues.”

Dr. White was born in Detroit and was the oldest of the five children of Joseph M. White, Sr. and Marie Motz White.

He left St. Charles High School in 11th grade to join the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was a Petty Officer and stationed on a ship in the Pacific. While in the Navy, he witnessed the atom bomb tests on Bikini Island.

Upon his return from the Navy, Mr. White attended Xavier University in Cincinnati and graduated from the University of Detroit. He received his doctorate of education from Michigan State University.

Dr. White spent 37 years of his career with the South Lake School District. He was a teacher, a principal for 12 years at Avalon School, the assistant superintendent of 16 years and the superintendent of schools for five years.

In 1952, Dr. White married J. Rose Raggio with whom he had seven children. They resided in Grosse Pointe Park.

Dr. White spent his life in service to family, community and church. He was very active in St. Martin’s and St. Ambrose’s Catholic Churches, serving as a lector and member of the Parish Council.

In his spare time, he fixed cars as a hobby but also as a basic necessity throughout the years.

“He probably made more than a thousand repairs on a variety of used cars for his seven children,” said his daughter, Anne.

Dr. White also restored a 1960 Lincoln Continental and a 1965 Dodge Coronet.

Dr. White and his wife enjoyed traveling, especially to Italy where his in-laws lived in a small northern village. They visited and stayed with relatives there on several occasions.

Being of Irish descent, he became “Italian by association.” He took Italian classes, played bocci ball and regularly made wine with his Italian in-laws. He and his wife sent each of their seven children, when they were in high school, to Italy for the summer.

Dr. White is survived by his wife, Rose; his seven children, Joseph III, James, David, Stephen, Anne, Julia and Mary; 18 grandchildren;1 great grandchild; his sisters Patricia White and Betty Greenia. He is predeceased by a sister, Mary White and a brother, Dennis.

A Mass of Resurrection was celebrated on Monday, Nov. 22 at St. Ambrose Church in Grosse Pointe Park. Interment is in Mt. Elliot Cemetery in Detroit.
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