Richard White

Richard E. White

Monday, May 28th, 1934 - Saturday, August 24th, 2019
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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
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Service Details

  • Service

    Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 | 10:00am
    Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 10:00am
    St. Andrew Catholic Church
    724 Mulberry St.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Father Gary Gummersheimer
  • Interment

    St. Andrew Cemetery
  • Reception

    17th Street Warehouse
    214 N 17th Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


Donations are being accepted for: Hospice of Southern Illinois, Inc..


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Jane Sweeney sent flowers to the family of Richard E. White.
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Regina Reed

Posted at 09:30am
sharon, we are with you in our hearts and souls. Richard was one of a kind and we all thought the world of him, Buddy always said he was the most intelligent person he ever knew, please take care of yourself, you are a very special person your self. We are with you! Love you Ronnie and Gina Reed.

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 08:42pm
We are so sorry for your loss. We will definitely miss Dick. It never was dull when he was around! Hugs and love from all of the Wittenborns.
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Mickey Finch

Posted at 08:41pm
Richard White was the Best Man at our wedding which was held in Benton after he & my husband Cord Finch we’re done that day. The Judge Foreman was wonderful to do the service that I had written. Cord died in 1999 & Richard & I talked several times but we lost touch. Richard & Cord will have some great stories to share. I am so very sorry for your loss!
Mickey Finch
Anna IL

Jane Sweeney

Posted at 12:23pm
My sincere sympathy,
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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 11:57am
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Your Commerce Bank Family and Friends
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