Richard E. White, 85, passed away at home, August 24, 2019, surrounded by his family.
He was born in Murphysboro on May 28, 1934, the son of Edgar and H. Teresa (Brown) White.
Attorney White attended Southern Illinois University and earned his law degree from the University of Illinois School of Law in 1957. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar Association in 1958, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Illinois in 1959, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971, and the US, Court of Appeals of the Seventh Circuit in 1989. White practiced law for 50 years before retiring. White's father, C. Edgar White, practiced law in Murphysboro throughout his life as well as holding the position of State's Attorney of Jackson County. His maternal grandfather was an Alderman in Murphysboro; his paternal grandfather was the Mayor of Carbondale and a Sheriff in Jackson County.
Mr. White was adventurous and a lifelong learner, constantly striving to broaden and deepen his knowledge. He was an avid game hunter who also enjoyed fishing, scuba diving, travel, and nature.
He was a member of Phi Alpha Delta, was the City-attorney of Murphysboro, Illinois, from 1961-1964, the City Attorney of Grand Tower, Illinois, from 1961-1963, City Attorney of Ava, Illinois, from 1968-1970. He was a Guest Lecturer for the Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure as well as the Law Enforcement Officers Program at Southern Illinois University in 1966 and 1967. White was a Guest Lecturer for the Evidence in Criminal Cases at Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1976. He was a member of the Jackson County Illinois State and American Bar Association, where he served as President from 1965-1966. White was also a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Illinois Attorneys for Criminal Justice, where he served as President in 1996. He was also a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Survivors include his wife, Sharon; daughter and son-in-law, Denise and Edward Gens of Pennsylvania, son and daughter-in-law Jeff and Stacey Harmon of Little Rock, Arkansas, and son and daughter-in-law Tom and Amy Harmon of Ladue, Missouri. He is also survived by eight grandchildren: Grant, Drake, and Abby Gens; Emily, Ethan, and Brendan Harmon; and Ava and June Harmon. He is also survived by his sister Judith Ann Tweedy and sister-in-law Judy Maes White. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Teresa A. White, and brother William H. (Bill) White.
Even with all his success, his greatest joy was his grandchildren and holding the position of the Halloween Gorilla who handed out the largest candy bars he could find. White held that position for more than 30 years and said no one will remember my law career, but they will miss the Halloween Gorilla.
A service will be held at St. Andrew Church on Wednesday August 28, 2019, at 10 a.m. with Father Gary Gummershiemer officiating.
The family would also like to thank Dr. Dale Blaise and Southern Illinois Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, Attorney White preferred that his family and friends remember him by making a memorial in his name to Hospice of Southern Illinois, Inc. For more information please visit https://www.pettettfuneralhome.com