Bert Raymond ‘Bud’ White

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI. – The greatest generation lost another soldier when Bert Raymond “Bud” White of Sault Ste. Marie passed away Saturday, February 11, 2017 while in the loving care of the staff of the Marquette Co. Medical Facility. Bert had suffered a broken hip from a fall in late December and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure after.

Bert was born August 22, 1926 to Raymond Cecil “Ramie” White and Florence “Flossie” Akrigg White, he was grandson of William White of Belfast, Ireland and Henrietta Hoornstra of the Netherlands and Ben and Mary Akrigg.

As a youngster Bert recalled living in an old Army tent during the Great Depression. As he grew up this seemed to make him understand the value of a dollar and the need to save for a rainy day.

Bert worked for the Northwestern Leather Co., or “The Tannery” as it was known in the Sault until he was called to service with the Army during World War II and served in the Philippines in the Pacific Theatre until his Honorable Discharge in late 1946.

After discharge, Bert met Bernice Margaret Hein of Elroy, Wisconsin in the Sault. They were married August 4, 1958 by Minister Lloyd Ketchum. Together the celebrated 55 years of marriage until her passing in 2003. To this strong union 6 children were born.

A self taught musician he played guitar and violin and was a member of the local band Warner Hart and his Boys with Hart on drums, Henry Bosley on violin and Bert on guitar. The Country and Western band played for weddings, dances and at an old Pine Grove Grange.

Bert worked for Carbide Power and then in construction for many years after. When his brother Bill was paralyzed in a car accident, a house was built on Bert’s 40 acres of property so Bill could live there until his death in the early 1980s. Later, his son Everett lived at the same location until he died in 2008.

He put his skills to work again in 1975 when he built the current home with his son John during the ’73-’75 recession when he was out of work.

He also helped family with work on their cars when they needed it until cars became more computerized and complicated. He wanted nothing in return.

After retirement Bert began making handcrafted violins and was a member of the faithful group of Luthiers who take pride in their work. As a member of the Laborers International Union of North America he was awarded his Gold Union card for his 50 years as a member in 2009. He was also a Silver Star Citizen member of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association.

Bert enjoyed Detroit Tigers games on radio and TV until cable took over the latter. He also liked listening to 650AM WSM out of Nashville late at night with his son John. He rode his exercise bike until he was 89 to maintain his independence and enjoyed visiting with family friends and neighbors. His son John called him the Mayor of 5 mile as he was the last of the true old-timers left on the road.

In recent years Bert donated to various veteran’s organizations as he was aware of the needs of those who came after him, mostly the Veteran’s Administration, V.F.W. (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Bert was predeceased by his wife Bernice in 2003, his parents, sisters, Wanda Groesser of Lake City and McBain, Betty Spurgeon of Pontiac, brothers, James and William White of Sault Ste. Marie, a daughter Beverly Brown of Grand Rapids, son Everett White of the Sault and a grandson Laneare Brown of Grand Rapids.

He is survived by sons James White of the Sault and John of Ishpeming, daughters Diane White of Grand Rapids and Connie of Gladstone, grandchildren William White of Midland, Nicole (Joe Rochefort) of Kinross, Brian Brown of Grand Rapids and Amy (Chandler) Cole of Portland, Oregon along with many cousins, nieces, nephews and great grandchildren.

Bert was further predeceased by his dogs Hereboy, Sport, who waited for him to return from World War II, Rebel, Buck, Frank, Duke and Missy and further survived by his son John’s Siberian Husky/Alaskan Malemute mix Buddy or “El Dage” as he called him.

Bert will always be loved, cherished and remembered by all and will be sadly missed.

Visiting hours are 12:30-2PM Saturday, February 18, 2017 with funeral services following at Hovie Funeral Home in Sault Ste. Marie, with Rev. Larry Witte officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Veteran’s Administration, V.F.W., Paralyzed Veterans of America or any of the many Veteran’s Services Organizations.

Interment will be in Pine Grove Cemetery in the spring.