WHITE, Frank Hallowell 77, an environmental educator and owner of Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset, died on Sunday after a courageous battle with cancer. Born in 1932 in Boston, Frank White grew up on the Holly Hill Farm, a property that had been in the family for five generations. Raised by a mother who loved animals, the quiet joys of walking in the woods, and community service and a father whose talents included sculpting bronze horses, inventing tractors, sawmilling, and farming, Frank learned early on to respect the value of hard work and to appreciate the resources of the land. As a young student, Frank attended Derby Academy in nearby Hingham. Following in his father's footsteps, his junior high and high school years were spent at Groton School, a small New England private school that stressed the importance of intellectual excellence along with a dedication to public service. At Groton, Frank distinguished himself as a three sport varsity athlete, a student leader who served as a senior prefect and an excellent student with an affinity for literature. At Harvard University, Frank majored in English, graduated magna cum laude and continued to excel in athletics. As a wingback on the Harvard Varsity Football team he threw the winning half-back option touchdown pass to win the 1954 Harvard-Yale Game, for which he received the Boston Tobacco Table's "Unsung Hero" Award. In 1955, Frank graduated with honors and served as a class marshal. The following year he studied at Cambridge University in England after winning the prestigious Fiske scholarship. In 1957, Frank married Jean Miner, a Radcliffe College graduate to whom he was married for 52 years. On his return from England, Frank became an Assistant Dean of Freshman at Harvard University until he was drafted into the US Army, eventually serving in the White House signal corps. Upon completing his army service, he entered the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he obtained a Master's degree. Realizing that he wanted to obtain experience beyond the ivory tower, Frank moved the following year to central Vermont where he taught for four years and served as Chairman of the English Department at Otter Valley Regional High School in Brandon. Returning to Groton School in 1963, Frank spent the next 10 years teaching English, coaching varsity football and basketball, and serving on the Groton Public School committee. Frank was especially proud of his establishment in 1965 of the Groton Lowell Upward Bound Program, an educational initiative designed to provide promising, low-income students with the study skills to attend college. In 1968, Frank returned to the Harvard Graduate School of Education to better understand the ways that educational institutions could be more responsive to the needs of students from a broader range of backgrounds. In 1973, Frank became executive director of the Thompson Island Education Center. Under his leadership, the center began providing a variety of programs designed to support access to outdoor and environmental education while emphasizing diversity training for teachers and students in the Boston Public Schools. Over the course of the next 15 years, Thompson Island Education Center served as an invaluable resource for the entire Boston Public School community, providing a safe haven for students and teachers of all races to come together in an environment that promoted trust, cooperation, and communication. Frank continued to serve in the field of education in subsequent positions at Boston Voyages in Learning and as executive director of the Cambridge Public School Volunteers. In 1998, Frank returned to the family farm in Cohasset with the vision of making it an organic farm that could serve as a place to teach the value of sustainable farming and the natural environment. With the help of a series of dedicated farm managers, Holly Hill Farm began selling fresh organic produce from the historic 19th century barn in the farmyard and at the local farmer's market on Cohasset Common. Concomitantly, Frank established the Friends of Holly Hill Farm, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the farm as a classroom for educational programs for students of all ages. Programming included a strong emphasis on creating respect for the natural environment, promoting sustainable agricultural practices, and collaborating with local schools. Despite living with the challenges of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia for many years, Frank worked tirelessly to promote the mission of the farm and to enable the Cohasset community to enjoy the beauty of the farm's fields, marshes, and woods. A watercolor artist, Frank sketched the drawings for a series of informational pamphlets about the natural habitat of the property. In addition to his wife Jean, Frank leaves behind his son, Justin White of Bolton, MA, two daughters, Jennifer White of Belmont, MA and Emily Sullivan of Newbury, MA, four grandchildren, and two brothers, Richardson White, Jr. of Sperryville, VA and Donald White of Philadelphia, PA. A Memorial Service will be held in October. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Friends of the Holly Hill Farm c/o of the Frank White Memorial Scholarship Program. For an online guestbook, please visit www.mcnamara-sparrell.com
McNamara-Sparrell Brighton-Cohasset-Norwell 781-383-0200 "Since 1820"