Obituaries » James White
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February 24, 1926 - June 19, 2020
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Bountiful
James Barrowman White returned home to his Father in Heaven on June 19, 2020. James began life in Boyd, Montana, born the 24th of February 1926, to Robert John White and Oleta Gertrude (Walker). He graduated from High School in Red Lodge, Montana, and soon thereafter joined the United States Navy to serve his country during World War II.
Soon after returning from military service, dad’s brother (Robert) and Wanda’s sister (Anita) arranged for Jim and Wanda to meet at family gatherings. After a few dates and dancing, Jim proposed to Wanda in February and they were married July 1, 1950.
Life’s journey carried James to many places: from Red Lodge to (military bases in California) to Billings, Butte, Glendive, and back to Billings. And then, the last half of life in Salt Lake City, Cottonwood Heights, and Bountiful.
Mom and Dad both joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Butte, Montana. James’ first calling was as a Stake Clerk for a newly re-organized Stake of Zion. Mom and Dad were sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple, and soon thereafter moved their young family to Glendive, Montana.
It was in Glendive and Billings that James served in his greatest calling as Scoutmaster. Although the original Troop only had 6 young men, it soon grew to over 30. All over town the boys knew that Troop 39 did cool things every week, and that they went camping or hiking every month of the year, even in winter. “I recall camping with large tents at 18 degrees below zero! But this great Scoutmaster taught us how to keep warm and have fun. As a Troop we built our own aluminum frame backpacks and took 50 mile hikes. And one summer we traveled to Minnesota to paddle canoes for 50 miles.” James also designed all of the activities to keep the boys advancing from tenderfoot, to second and first class scouts; and then on to Star, Life, and Eagle. Because of the high achievement and advancement levels of dad’s scout troops, he was awarded the Scoutmasters Key, and his troops were selected as Top 50 troops in the nation for three years in a row. (… all you old scouters, stand now and Salute!)
There is an old saying: “Jake of all trades, master of none.” But dad was the master of many! Car tools, construction tools, garden tools, it did not matter, he was the master. “When I was just eight years old, I watched dad use a welder’s torch and other tools to cut, chop, and rebuild a Model A Ford; and then enter his new design in a car show. He won second place!” Dad used his construction skills to build his three-car garage, remodel his basement, and contribute many hours to help build his daughter’s home. And then there are the garden tools, each with a specific purpose … but before the garden he decided to build a brick retaining wall at just the right height for sitting and pulling the weeds! (A raised garden for the master gardener.) Dad earned is certification as a Master Gardener from Utah State University.
James would also find time to accomplish his temple and family history work. And since mom and dad were first generation members, this meant they were the first in their lineages to begin this great work. Dad’s attitude was “go and do” He would go to the history center during the microfiche days, and find his family; and then he would do the temple work. While doing family research he found a family history complied by Wilma Walker Dunlap called “Along Came Joe”. (or maybe the book found him.) There are over 3000 names in this one book, which traces his mother’s lineage and all her cousin lines back to 1753.
James magnified his earthly roles as son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather. Dad provided his children and grandchildren many opportunities to develop self-worth and the value of honest labor. Being a master gardener, he helped his family appreciate the magic and wonder of joining with nature to produce, enjoy, and share a harvest that comes from the plants and from ourselves.
Family and friends continue to post fond memories and photos at www.weremeber.com. James is preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Robert and William, his sisters Cora and Robena, and a grandson Forrest. James is survived by his sister Grace, and his children Roger White (Kathleen), Jamie Hadlock (Dave), Nancie Mooy (Sandy), Nola Dill (Gary); and 20 grandchildren, and 55 great-grandchildren.
We will all miss grandpa’s “chipper” response to life. We all felt peace and love just by being around him while accomplishing our normal everyday activities … of building, painting, hammering, making something, cleaning buildings, gardening, weeding, camping, hiking, and learning our own way. We love him and will keep him in our hearts, “until we meet again.” There will be a graveside service for family members, this week. Interment at Bountiful City Cemetery. Online guest book at www.russonmortuary.com.