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OBITUARY — Wellington White – 1930-2018

Wellington White  – 1930 – 2018

Wellington White of La Habra Heights, California died peacefully at his home on March 21, 2018 from Parkinson’s disease. His loving wife Colleen White was by his side.

A native of Glendale, California, Wellington was born to Dr. Ross and Mrs. Joan White on September 5, 1930. He graduated from Glendale High School in 1948 where he was known for his mechanical prowess in reviving his beloved jalopy.  He went on to college at Stanford University where he completed his undergraduate degree in 1953 and subsequently entered Officer Candidate School for the United States Navy. He was commissioned as an officer in the Navy and served with the Special Weapons Unit of the Pacific on the aircraft carrier, the USS Hornet, where he was responsible for the operational readiness of its atomic arsenal.

Upon completing his service in 1958 he joined Honeywell Corporation as an electrical engineer. Wellington soon met the love of his life – Colleen Kruse of South El Monte, California. They were married in 1960 and together spent the next six decades of their lives residing in La Habra Heights, California, raising four amazing children, helping expand the family business, and traveling the world.

In 1965, at the request of his father-in-law, Otto Kruse, Wellington left Honeywell to join O.H. Kruse Grain & Milling in South El Monte, where he was affectionately known as “Ton”. His computer savvy combined with his progressive minded approach to purchasing grain commodities was a defining contribution he made to the family business. His integrity and reputation for fair dealing led to his service as head of the judiciary committee of the National Grain and Feed Association and further contributed to the impeccable reputation of O.H. Kruse Grain and Milling.

Tall, handsome, and humbly reserved, Wellington would light up a room with his big smile and warm and friendly demeanor. He was an adventurous spirit and a maverick among his friends, always encouraging independent thinking and principled action. His persistent quest for knowledge was insatiable and often inspired family dinners with rich discussions about mathematical and scientific theories focusing on the way things worked on Earth and in the cosmos. He possessed an exceptional ear for music and frequently transformed his Steinway Grand piano into a mini concert hall, routinely inspiring dancing or in later hours, serenading his children to sleep with favorite compositions by Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Jobim, and Bacharach, among many others. He was a prolific arranger of popular songs and often played them for audiences where he traveled and dined.

Wellington was a highly engaged and loving father, father-in-law, and grandfather. When not coaching one of his children’s sports teams or leading Scouts, he might be taking them on a hike in the mountains or a dive in the ocean. He imbued his family and others by association, with a great reverence for the outdoors. He was active in his community and a respected source of steady, sage advice to all who knew him personally and professionally. He was a loving and devoted partner to Colleen, and their relationship, forever enduring, a model to all who know them. Wellington leaves behind a profound legacy in his children and grandchildren, and his warm, gentle presence will be deeply missed forever more.

Wellington is survived by his wife Colleen White and their son Dr. Jeffrey White (Julie Van Sickle) and grandsons Nicolas and Anthony, their son Bryan White (Christine) and granddaughter Alexandra, their daughter Dr. Lesley White, and their son Paul White. Wellington is also survived by his sister Alissande Satterwhite (Fletcher), his brother Leon White (Judy), his sister Marty White (Bernie Rothermel) and his sister Kevin White (Dr. Gary Barth), and many other loving extended family members and friends.

Private services were held on Friday, March 30, 2018. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a tribute gift to The Nature Conservancy in Wellington’s name. To do so, visit: www.nature.org or call: 800-628-6860.

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.