Lieutenant-Colonel John "Jack" White, 91, died peacefully in his Bigtown home on Thursday. A veteran of World War II, he also commanded the 5th Battalion 10th Marines and was awarded the Purple Heart.
Lt. White was born on April 12, 1922 in Jacksonville, NC to Clarence and Mary White. In 1940, he joined the armed forces and was assigned to the Marine Corps base camp in Lejeune, NC. After graduating from special training in 1924, he was assigned to the 5th Battalion and deployed to the Sicilian front in Italy as a Private. He was wounded in 1943 and awarded the Purple Heart.
In 1951, Lt. White was recommissioned as a Lieutenant-Colonel and led the 5th Battalion in the Battle of Maehwa-San. He was discharged with full honors in 1973 and served as a recruitment officer and a chairman on the advisory board until his full retirement in 1991. Widowed in 1994, he spent his remaining time drafting his memoirs in a book titled Purple City: War and the Warriors.
Lt. White was a brave and loyal soldier, as well as a patient and loving father. He married Lucy Brown in Aurora, IL in 1949. A natural mathematician, he often served as a substitute teacher at Aurora Middle and High Schools while his children were students.
He is survived by his daughters, Carrie, Linda, Jean and Deborah; his son, Daniel; his fifteen grandchildren; and his seven great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife, Lucy; his son, Mark and his daughter, Kristen, who died in infancy.