EAST MILLINOCKET - After a brief illness Bernard R. "Bunny" White passed away on the morning of September 16, 2015, at a local hospital, where he enjoyed his last few days with us well-taken care of by family members as well as hospital staff.
Born May 20, 1925, in Howland, Bunny enjoyed a full 90 years sharing the world with us, whether it was at a favorite fishing hole, deer blind, or dance floor. He loved practical jokes and down-home humor and was an advocate of the idea that a good story need not by necessity be true as long as it was enjoyable to hear. He also believed it was not right for one to judge others until "walking at least a mile in their shoes." And always, he believed, give everyone "the benefit of a doubt."
During his lifetime Bunny wore many hats. Like many others of his era, he left school at a young age to earn a wage. After working for some time in a plywood mill, he enlisted for military duty where he served with the United States Navy on Liberty ships during World War II. He was quietly proud that he was part of the fleet amassed in the English Channel for the Allied invasion of France on D-Day. After being discharged from the Navy in 1946 he worked at a plywood mill in the Howland area before moving to East Millinocket a few years later to work in Great Northern Paper's Chemi-Groundwood Plant and raise his family. Following eighteen years employed by GNP, he worked tirelessly for several years as a custodian at Schenck High School, where he was affectionately known as the "White Tornado."
Always creative, in his younger days Bunny made several pack-baskets from ash strips he harvested himself. He also fashioned Native-American style leggings, breast- plates, loincloths and headdresses to help educate the local Boy Scouts in "Indian" Lore. An avid photographer for several years, Bunny was very proud of the scores of prints he collected of eagles and ospreys, often spending twelve or more hours in camouflaged blinds in all manner of weather. In his "golden years" at Sweet Seniors he amused everyone with the concoctions he came up with using duct tape, double-sided tape, and cardboard. Oh, it just might also be true that after hanging up his .300 Savage rifle in the late 1990s, the Maine DIF&W was able to cut back on its allotted funds for poaching stake-outs in Northern Penobscot County.
Bunny is survived by three children, Kathy Hale and her husband, Rick, of East Millinocket, John White and wife, Diane, of Walpole and Ralph "David" White and wife, Pamela, of East Millinocket. He is also survived by many loving grandchildren and their spouses, Rick and Julie Hale of Medway, Brent and Sandy Hale of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Tricia and Bobby Murano of Milford, Maine, Trapper and Michelle White of Dover, New Hampshire, Damien and Inga Williams of Reno, Nevada, Jonathan White and soul mate, Erin, Droste of Olathe, Kansas, and Mark "Marcus" White of Medford, Massachusetts.
Surviving great-grandchildren are Brittany Springman, Cassandra and Haley Murano, Garret, Catherine, Cody and Alexis Hale, and Oliver and Henry White Great-great-grandchild Mason Springman will also miss Bunny and the stories he could tell.
Bunny was predeceased by his parents, Matilda Theriault White and John E. White; wife, Frances J. White; brother, John David White; and infant son, Ralph Bernard White.
The family wants to extend a sincere "thank you" to the staff of Sweet Seniors Guest House for their years of patience tending to Bunny and express special gratitude for the staff of MRH for their professional care and warm bedside manner.
A Mass Christian Burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Thursday, September 24, 2015, at Christ the Divine Mercy Parish, St. Peter's Catholic Church, 58 Cedar Street, East Millinocket, with the Rev. Bruce Siket, pastor, presider. Messages of condolence may be expressed at www.lamsonfh.com.