Sylvia Lorraine White


Bangor - Sylvia L. White
Bangor, Maine
October 11, 1935 - June 5, 2019

The 1930s and '40s were not an easy time to be the middle child of a large family, yet these challenges shaped the woman Sylvia Lorraine McLeod was to become. Her siblings; Elizabeth, Mary Ellen, Charlotte, Dick, Carolyn, Bill, Gail, Michael and Priscilla were the riches bequeathed to her by their parents, Margaret (Thompson) and John McLeod.

Sylvia cherished her friendships and remained in touch with her school chums from St. John's, St. Mary's, and John Bapst Class of 1954, throughout her life. She had many amazing friends and felt blessed by the love she received from them right up to her last days.

Writing was not something Sylvia enjoyed but for the special young man she met at a Bangor street dance, she wrote for two years while he served in the Korean War. Donald H. White arrived back in Maine after the war and the two were married August 6th, 1955. Daughters Sandra, Sheryl and Nancy soon came along and together the family camped at Abenaki, fished on East Grand Lake, and spent precious time at the family camp on Brandy Pond.

Sylvia's independent spirit and love of history led her to travel on her own to visit dear friends in Spain, and later, a bus tour of Europe. She was happiest when she was with Don exploring the byways of Maine in their camper, listening to the gentle rain falling on the roof.

She is survived by her three daughters and their families; Sandra English and husband Russell Berg, Sheryl White and daughters Michaela and Jordan, Nancy White, husband John Burns, and daughters Sylvia and Lili, sister-in-law Alberta Washburn, many nieces and nephews and dear "sister of her heart" Nancy Moore. She was predeceased by her husband of 50 years, Don.

ALS is a devastating disease. Sylvia refused to let it take over her life and it was her determination and grace that helped her remain strong and positive in the last few months of her life. This would not have been possible without the excellent care she received from Mary and Sue Lee of Beacon Hospice, and her niece Donna Thompson. The family will be forever grateful to the many friends who sent cards and visited Mom at her "in-law" apartment next to daughter Sheryl, who was her full-time caregiver.

There will be a celebratory gathering for family and friends June 14th from 1-3 at 11 Central in downtown Bangor. If you would like to remember Sylvia in a special way, please take a friend to lunch or make a donation in her memory to The ALS Association Northern New England Chapter, 10 Ferry Street, Suite 438, Concord, NH, 03301 ​
Published on June 8, 2019
Send flowers
in memory of Sylvia
See more

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.

Share your condolences and special memories.
The guestbook expires on September 05, 2019.

13 posts

Valyrie Ice
Jul 01, 2019
To Sandy, Sheryl, and Nancy,
I hope your beautiful memories of your mom will support you in your time of mourning. Sylvia was beautiful inside and out. A family friend who while growing up chummed with my Aunt Nancy. I loved hearing their stories of adventures. When I was a teen, Sylvia, Don, and the girls would visit our family in the summertime. Sylvia always exuded warmth and a love of family and friends. She was dignified, charming, and delightful. I'll never forget her warm soothing voice and wonderful endearments. We will miss her very much.

Val Ice
Jane Ice
Jun 25, 2019
Remembrances of you, Sylvia, my dear friend, go back to our childhood days in our West Bangor neighborhood. Your sisters, Elizabeth and Mary Ellen, were my class mates at St. Mary's. You and my younger sister Nancy were life long friends, though total opposites; you the refined, good, follow the rules girl, she the dare devil testing all rules.

You two were inseparable like little sisters. You've been
a treasured friend through all of our adult lives. I've admired your sensible, temperate, lovable and giving
character. You've brought comfort, laughter, fun and delight into our lifelong visits. Summers won't be the same without your loving, beautiful presence .

Knowing that you are in
... the arms of your beloved Don and members of your family, Nancy Ellen and many other friends is consoling. Till we meet again, dear Sylvia, you
will always live with love in my memory.
Your life long friend,
Jane Sanborn Ice
Read more
Linda Schneider
Jun 13, 2019
I met Sylvia during the time that my Dad was ill. I am so grateful for her friendship and support to both my Dad and I, during that difficult time. After my Dad passed, Sylvia and I continued our friendship with many long-distance calls. We shared a lot of good memories and laughs and on more than one occasion, used up the battery on her phone, because we talked so long. She was such a special lady; there aren’t many like her and I will miss her so much. I wish I had known her longer, but I feel grateful and honored to have had her in my life, for the years I did. There is a quote: “Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories”. Sylvia left family and fri...ends with a lot of beautiful memories.” May these wonderful memories bring her family and friends comfort.Read more
Charlotte Matteson
Jun 09, 2019
Sylvia was a wonderful woman whose love and energy filled a room. I was so happy to meet her many years ago. She was funny and full of life. I will never forget this extraordinary, brave woman.
Jun 09, 2019
Aunt Sylvia will be missed.
Anita Froistad
Jun 08, 2019
Hi to you,my little "Water Lily".You we're a beautiful lady inside and out!!!!!I can here you talking now and saying "and hon" in you calm and positive way...God bless you,"hon" and thank you for being my friend ...xoxo to infinity and beyond...
Sandy Walker
Jun 08, 2019
Even as a person "from away" Sylvia and Don were always very kind and welcoming to me. As a person who was closer to my parents generation than mine I was always amazed when Sylvia would take on activities such as cross country snow skiing...She had that true Mainer spirit that I so like.

Sylvia was so very fortunate through the care of family and friends, in particular Sheryl, to have been able to remain home rather than a facility. Everything that could be done for her care and comfort was done. We should all hope to be so fortunate as to be surrounded with such good people.
Jordan Wadell
Jun 08, 2019
Thank you for all your smiles, your laughter, and the calls you made to check up on me. Thank you for the love and care you showed me throughout the years. I will forever cherish and hold onto the memories I shared with you.
Jamie Wadell
Jun 08, 2019
I will cherish the recorded messages I received from you through the years and remember the good times and special moments spent with you and Don. Love Jamie
Jamie Wadell
Jun 08, 2019
I will cherish the recorded messages from you through the years along with the good visits and special moments.
Todd Helen Song and Connor McLeod
Jun 08, 2019
Rest In Peace Aunt Sylvia.
David Geaghan
Jun 08, 2019
Mothers hold their children's hands for just a little while...........And their hearts forever.
Rosemary Sanborn Robbins
Jun 08, 2019
So very sorry to hear of Sylvia’s passing. She was a dear friend from our childhood days and we loved seeing her every summer. Sylvia and Don will forever be in our hearts and remember for the sweet people they were. Condolences to her girls who made her proud.