Obituary for Leland White
Leland E. White, 97, of Westerville, Ohio passed away on Tuesday, May 11, 2022. Lee was a long-time resident of Holliston, Massachusetts and had moved to Ohio in 2015 to be near family. He was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. His beloved wife and best friend of over 73 years, Betty, passed before him in 2018 at the age of 92. He leaves behind his daughter, Lavonne (White) Suwalski and son-in-law David Suwalski of Westerville, OH, granddaughters, Jennifer (Suwalski) Golden and husband Jeffrey Golden of New Albany, OH, and Kathleen Suwalski and husband Alex Sullivan of Framingham, MA, and great grandchildren, Andrew and Lauren Golden and Hazel Sullivan. He also leaves behind many extended family members.
Lee was born in Marion, OH on March 12, 1925. He and his younger brother Norman were raised by their grandmother and father upon the death of his mother when he was 3 years old. Lee attended Marion High school before enlisting in the navy and fought in WWII. His ship, the USS Canberra, was torpedoed then used as a decoy and returned to port in Boston, MA. It was there he met Betty on a blind date and they married in 1945. After the war, he finished high school and then put himself through college, with the help of his wife. Lee always remembered his time in the Navy and how it impacted his life. He attended many ship reunions and kept in touch with shipmates. His memories of the war and his ship are on video in the library of Congress. He even took the Honor Flight in May 2019 to visit Washington, DC.
Lee’s life was filled with hard work and great accomplishments. He worked for 30 years at General Motors in Framingham, MA as an engineer. During this time, he also earned his private pilot’s license which he took great pride in.
Lee loved to sing and had the gift of gab. From early on he and his brother, Norman, were on a local radio station in Marion, OH singing together and then as an adult he joined the choir at his church. He could always be found singing to his wife around the house and singing together with his granddaughter.
Lee and Betty were very involved in bowling, golf, square dancing with the Fairs and Squares, and playing bridge at the Holliston and Medway Senior Centers. They were devoted members of St. Mary’s (Holliston, MA) and the Church of the Resurrection (New Albany, OH).
Nothing brought Lee greater joy then spending time with his family. He could always be found on the sidelines of Andrew and Lauren’s sporting events. During Hazel’s visits to Ohio, he took pleasure in watching her play and giving her hugs. He loved spending his vacation time traveling to visit relatives and attend family reunions.
Lee will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Until the very last moment of his life, his faith in God was strong and gave him peace.
A funeral mass in his memory will be held on Tuesday, May 24th at 11am at the Church of the Resurrection in New Albany, Ohio. A blessing will follow at Blendon Central Cemetery in Westerville, Ohio.