Washington Funeral Director
WASHINGTON - Melvin H. White, 95, longtime resident of Washington, passed away at 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at Washington Christian Village.
Mel was born on July 28, 1918, in Peoria to Max and Elsie (Fauber) White. He married Winifred Olsen in Riverside, Calif., on Sept. 11, 1950. Mel and Winnie celebrated over 55 years of marriage prior to her death on Dec. 23, 2005, in Peoria.
In recent years Mel established a Winifred White Memorial Scholarship for aspiring teachers at WCHS in recognition of the many years she taught in Washington.
Among those surviving are two nieces, Beverly Greenhalgh of Washington and Jeana Steeg-Simmons of Peoria, as well as his great-niece and caregiver, Vickie (Scott) Williams of Washington.
He was also preceded in death by one sister.
Mel was a second generation funeral director and was owner of White Funeral Home in Washington. The funeral home was started by his father in 1935 on South Main Street and Mel continued to manage and grow the business until his retirement in 1984.
Mel was the recipient of the 2013 Washington business of the year award by the local chamber of commerce in recognition of the years of service to the community by the funeral home.
He was a 1937 graduate of Washington Community High School and later went on to attend Worsham College of Mortuary Science, where he earned his degree in funeral service.
Mel loved to follow Washington high school sports and rarely missed home basketball games until just the past several years.
Mel was a member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Washington, where he also served many years as an usher. He also was a member of the Washington Historical Society, Washington Emergency Services and Disaster Agency (ESDA) and was a trained weather spotter.
Very active in Masonry, Mel was a member of Taylor Lodge 98, AF&AM, for more than 66 years and served as lodge treasurer for 37 years. He also was a member of Scottish Rite Valley of Peoria for 64 years, Mohammed Temple Shrine of Peoria, Scottish Rite Men's Club of Peoria and the Washington Chapter 115, Order of Eastern Star.
A service to celebrate Mel's life will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 28, 2014, at Mason-White Funeral Home in Washington, with Pastor Dick Hanson and Pastor Jim Gorby officiating. Burial will follow in Glendale Cemetery in Washington. Visitation will be held on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the funeral home and also one hour prior to services on Monday. A Masonic memorial service for Mel will follow at 4 p.m. Sunday at Mason-White Funeral Home.
Memorials for Mel may be directed to either St. Mark's Lutheran Church or Shriner's Children Hospital.
Online condolences may be made at masonfuneralhomes.com.