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Rachel White


1942 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Rachel White Obituary
October 6, 1942 - July 14, 2018Rachel W. White (a.k.a. Rufus W. White), age 75, passed away on July 14, 2018. Rachel, born Rufus William White in Alhambra, Calif. on October 6, 1942, was raised in Redding, Calif. by the late Thelma (n‚e Bidwell) and Jewell White. She attended Shasta Union High School, where she was a member of the football and track teams, graduating in 1960. After high school, she attended Shasta Junior College, playing football and earning an Associate of Arts degree in engineering. She would finish her undergraduate studies and football career at Humboldt State University, majoring in math and physics, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1967. Upon leaving Humboldt she took a position with Douglas Aircraft where she worked on the Delta Rocket program. Ms. White held successively more expansive roles with the company, now McDonnell Douglas, and eventually The Boeing Company after the two corporations merged in 1989. She oversaw the McDonnell Douglas Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award team for the C-17 Airlift and Tanker Programs in Long Beach, Calif., and would go on to win the National award in 1998 from President Clinton. She held positions throughout both the commercial and military divisions of the company including Director of Quality Assurance, Director of Customer Satisfaction and Chief Information Officer. She would return to school, earning an MBA from Pepperdine University through the Pepperdine PKE program in 1989. After more than 30 years in aerospace she retired in 2000. Ms. White met astronauts, governors, presidents, and took her family along for the ride. She traveled, camped, would hunt, and enjoyed deep sea and freshwater fishing, all for the thrill of being in the outdoors. Always the life of the party, the dance floor was rarely empty if she had her way. Life's simpler pursuits were not to be overlooked, an avid reader with an eye and ear for the curious, you would not find dust on her books from science fiction to westerns. Later in life, Pilates and writing became additional passions.Following her career in aerospace and gender transition, Rachel served as a vibrant and tireless member of the LGBT professional landscape. She created Holarchy Consulting Services with Khush Cooper whose mission was to bring performance excellence to non-profit organizations that support marginalized youth. Rachel served as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services agency (GLASS) and was a member of the Interagency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN) committee focusing on mentoring foster youth. Holarchy Consulting supported the LA LGBT Center to win the largest grant ever awarded by the federal government to an LGBT cause, and led the development and deployment of the State's transformation of group home care in Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties. Rachel was an advocate for equal rights for all and for the right of LGBT children to be able to express their authentic selves. She performed lay counseling for the Southern California Transgender Center, spoke publicly about the challenges facing LGBT children and families, and in 2005-06 provided leadership and support to open a homeless youth shelter in cooperation with the City of Long Beach. Rachel was also the subject of an Emmy nominated Fox television special in the fall 2004, was often a guest on radio and cable television programs as well as at community and educational groups. For many, she remains one of the most interesting conversationalists they will ever meetRachel was a beloved husband, dad, grandpa and friend. She is survived by daughters Marice and Allison; grandchildren Conner, Christopher and Teddy; former wife Maurine; her sons-in-laws Gregg and Frank; brother Frank White, and, her adopted Cooper-Flores family. A memorial service will be held to celebrate the life of Rachel W. White on August 12, 2018 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Plummer Park Community Center, 7737 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, Calif. Please sign the guestbook at legacy.com/obituaries/ladailynews.
Published in Los Angeles Daily News on Aug. 8, 2018
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