Obituary, Clifford O. White 1925 -2016


April 27, 2017

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Clifford Orlando White

Clifford Orlando White, 91, passed away on Christmas Day, 2016 in Des Moines, Washington. Clifford was a longtime resident in Wrangell, Alaska, and considered it his home. Clifford was born on September 30, 1925 in McCook, Nebraska, but lived on a farm near Oberlin, Kansas. A combination of the depression and dust bowl in the 1930's, caused the family to lose the farm and migrate to Pueblo, Colorado at the age of 9.

At an early age, he started a career in house building and remodeling. This was interrupted at the age of 18 by being drafted into the Army. His first overseas assignment was in the Philippines 3-days after US forces took back the main Island, and was to be a part of the initial assault force on Japan. History intervened, and he became a part of the first occupying force to land in Japan.

Clifford returned to Pueblo following WWII, married Lavon Hopper in 1949, and had two children - Mark and Diane. His career continued as a Contractor engaged in; commercial building, concrete structures, excavation and demo work, sewer and water systems, house moving and renovation. The economy became stagnant in the Pueblo area in the 1960s, making it difficult for Contractors in the construction industry. HUD started building low income housing in Pueblo, making it difficult for him to compete at that time with his current properties. As a result, he applied for Director of Public Works position in Wrangell in 1968 and was successful, serving 8 years in that position.

Clifford and Lavon moved to Wrangell with a house trailer and some debt. Lavon continued to develop as an artist, while Clifford started building out of pocket. Over the years, the couple were able to amass several commercial properties and residential rental units, along with a commercial building in Petersburg that became the District Court House. That building was later sold, with the proceeds invested in residential properties in Tacoma, Washington. Lavon passed on in 2001. Much later Clifford remarried to Betty King, Wrangell, who survives him.

Clifford was active in

remodel and property management to the end. He was inspecting one of his houses when he slipped and fell.

Complications put him in the hospital where he contracted a deadly viral infection, and later succumbed. His properties

are currently being managed by Diane Lightner, with help from her niece Jillian Rushton.

Out of 6 siblings, Clifford is survived by a younger brother, Orville White (Martha): two children, Mark (JoAnn) White, and Diane Lightner; three grandchildren, Amanda (Jeremy) Murphy, James White, and Jillian (Kent) Rushton; and one great grandchild, Willa Rose Murphy.

A memorial reception will be held May 3, 2017 at 3:00p.m. in the Legion building for friends and family to celebrate his



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