Funeral services for Gene will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 8, at the Big Rapids First United Methodist Church with Pastor Rebecca Morrison officiating. Visitation will be Monday, April 7, 2014, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids. Burial will be at Hungerford Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Big Rapids First United Methodist Church or the DAV.
He was born on April 30, 1932, in Gaines, Mich., the son of James C. and Marion E. Smith White. Gene served in the United States Air Force, Korean Theater. Upon returning from service, he attended and graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering. Gene married Wilma M. Gage in 1954.
Following graduation from MSU, he began a marvelous career with Deere & Co. Gene traveled the world, opening new markets and doing everything from setup to training.
Gene was a member of the Big Rapids First United Methodist Church, the Big Rapids Lions Club, the Boy Scouts of America, the DAV, the local "Greasy Fingers" and the National Two Cylinder Club. He and Wilma were involved with many local organizations and activities.
Gene is survived by one daughter, Nancy (Richard) Janoski, Rock Island; two sons, Lee (Carol) White, Rochelle, Ill., and Carl (Lynn) White, Moline; seven grandchildren, Alex and Nick Janoski, Stuart (Stephanie) and Kyle White, Ian, Even and Jennie White. Gene's first great-grandson will be born in May. Also surviving are three sisters, Lorraine Murphy, Sue Robar and Celia Kelly; one brother, John White; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Nita and Emery Bennett; plus several nieces and nephews.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Wilma; one son, David James White; two sisters, Ellen Jo Cavanaugh and Janet Watkins; and one brother, James M. White.
In recent years, as Gene's health declined, he had great support of several friends and local family.
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