Parsonsburg-PARSONSBURG -- Steven "Steve" Edward White, 60, of Parsonsburg peacefully passed away at his home on November 5 surrounded by family and friends he so dearly loved after a brief fearless battle with melanoma.
Born September 19, 1955, Steve graduated from Wicomico High School in 1973 and selflessly and humbly devoted his life to public service. In 1977, he found his second love and true calling when he began his volunteer service with the Parsonsburg Volunteer Fire Company. For twenty years, Steve was the Parsonsburg Volunteer Fire Company Chief, and also served in various roles as Assistant Chief, Captain, President and Board Member. For the past thirteen years, Steve was a paid paramedic/firefighter with Parsonsburg Volunteer Fire Company.
As the fire chief for twenty years, Steve was the volunteer fire and emergency medical services' strongest advocate. He knew that the greatest investment he could make was in people -- good people. Steve knew good people are the bedrock of the volunteer fire service, and good people, above all else, are necessary to ensure the safety of the community.
Steve's commitment to quality fire and emergency medical service has been seen and felt locally and statewide. Parsonsburg Volunteer Fire Company's new state of the art facility, dedicated in November 2010, is the direct result of his commitment and passion. It was through Steve's extensive fundraising efforts and lobbying that the community's need that was but a dream became a reality.
Most recently, Steve served on the Volunteer Company Assistance Fund Committee for the Maryland State Firemen's Association and dedicated many hours working with other volunteer fire companies to acquire grant funding and low interest loans for much needed equipment. Steve was a past President of the Wicomico County Fire Chief's Association, and served as Chairman of the Emergency Medical Services Committee and the County Executive Advisory Committee. Steve was also a trustee of the Wicomico County Volunteer Firefighter's Association, and a member of the County Council Liaison Committee. Steve has testified before both houses of Legislature to advocate for funding of volunteer companies.
Steve quietly led by example, instilling integrity, work ethic, the love of helping others, the value of living a simple life and lifesaving skills into his fellow brothers and sisters in the fire service. For all of his contributions and achievements, Steve's greatest was the scores of young people he mentored, recruited and believed in. He was instrumental in creating the Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician vocational program at Parkside High School through the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute which allows high school students the opportunity to begin building their careers and saving lives by becoming certified in Firefighter I, Emergency Medical Technician- Basic and Hazmat Operations.
Not only did Steve inspire and enable others to save lives, he was accomplished at saving lives, as all emergency first responders do, under extreme stress and pressure. In 2006, Steve received the Star of Life Award from the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services Systems for a complex extrication and rescue of a worker seriously injured eighty feet above the ground inside the Wor-Wic Community College Water Tower.
In addition to his commitment to fire service, Steve also worked at the Powellville Shirt Factory, for several years, repairing sewing machines until the factory closed in 2001. After the factory closed, he continued to repair sewing machines.
Steve handled his illness with grace and humor, and with the assistance of what he called "his team." As the residents and interns at Johns Hopkins Hospital made rounds and introduced themselves, Steve would in turn introduce his team that stayed by his side, his beloved wife Debbie, son Ryan, "girlfriend" Carol Fisher, "daughters" Leigh Tyler, Julie Parrish, Jennifer Naugle and Jamie Dykes; his dear friends and transport team Jim Brown, Jeff Willis, Chelsea Massey and Mike Parsons. Cancer took many things from Chief Steve White, but it did not take his sense of humor or dignity.
The support from the community, friends and neighbors during Steve's illness has been overwhelming. The White Family thanks each and everyone who has prayed, visited and brought gifts. Your love and support during this most difficult time is appreciated and will always be remembered.
Steve is survived by his beautiful wife, who was first love and best friend for more than forty years, Deborah "Debbie" Ann White, adopted son Ryan Whittington of Ocean City, and canine daughter, three legged princess Kyra; brother William "Billy" White and his wife Doris of Parsonsburg; nephew Dale White and his wife Donna of Parsonsburg; nephew Dennis White and his wife Dorothy of Parsonsburg; nephew Dean White of Gaithersburg; niece Jessica Bartrug of Wilmington, North Carolina, and nephews Justin Bartrug of Salisbury, Garrett LaCurts of Gumboro, Delaware, and Dylan Carpenter of Pittsville. Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Violet Hancock White of Parsonsburg.
A viewing will be held at Parsonsburg Volunteer Fire Company, 33030 Old Ocean City Road, Parsonsburg, MD 21849, on Friday, November 13, from 6 to 8pm. A funeral service will begin at 11am Saturday, November 14, at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church, 217 Beaglin Park Drive, Salisbury, MD 21804. Donations in memory of Chief Steve White can be made to The Steve White Memorial Scholarship Fund, Parsonsburg Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 208, Parsonsburg, Maryland 21849.
Published by The Daily Times on Nov. 8, 2015.