Jeffery Douglas White

1938 - 2010, Santa Barbara

5/8/1938 – 12/10/2010

A legend leaves us

Jeffery Douglas White died at home, on Dec. 10, 2010 while gazing at a golden sunset over his beloved ocean.

Jeff was raised in Hermosa Beach and attended North School. At a young age he loved the ocean and body surfing. He and his pals formed a group called “The Surfing Seals.”

His family moved to Pasadena, but Jeff remained close to the sea by spending every summer with his grandmother in Palos Verdes Estates. He was able to join his friends in Hermosa Beach, and they surfed on longboards all summer long.

To remain near the ocean he attended and graduated from UCSB, with a degree in business. During this time he was a lifeguard at Carpinteria Beach and became interested in Dory racing.

Although Jeff is remembered for being the creator of White Owl Surfboards, he may be more widely recognized as a Dory racer with teammate Paul Hodgert. They dominated the sport for an entire decade—even beating the Australians off Montauk Point, N.Y.

Jeff opened his first surf shop in the building that is now The Nugget in Summerland. The name of his shop was White Owl, as were his surfboards, which are much coveted today.

Jeff was the driving force behind constructing the Carpinteria Community Pool and the creator of The Rincon Classic Surf Contest, which continues as an annual event. This was concurrent with expanding and managing his surf shops. At one time he owned as many as five. His business acumen and kindness made him successful and beloved by both his employees and customers.

He battled multiple sclerosis for many years. His battle was an inspiration to others.

Jeff leaves behind his beloved son, Jed Jeffrey White, his daughter-in-law, Erica, grandsons Cannon and Hayden, sister Nancy Ashbridge White, as well as many cousins and surfing friends.

Preceding him in death were his parents Douglas Ashbridge White and Christy M. White and his “nanny,” grandmother Esther Welch.

Good night, sweet prince. May flights of angels lead thee to thy rest. Somewhere there is an offshore breeze and a glassy break where Jeff is catching the perfect wave.

Memorial services and paddle out to be determined at a later date.

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I used to hang out at White Owl surf shop as a young kid. Jeff was a very nice man who didn’t mind young gremlins asking a ton of questions. There was always a barrel or two of resin left out on the steps. His shop later became Hopper’s market. Summerland was much different then.

edukder (anonymous profile)
December 23, 2010 at 7:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A very touching memoriam. And a beautiful way to row into the great beyond.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
December 25, 2010 at 9:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I met Jeff in Carpinteria in the late 1960s as part of a circle of friends that included Paul Hodgert, Dona and Tucker Stevens, and Jim and Yvonne McKinney. I had the pleasure of taking a trip with him to Ensenada to visit a sandal factory for a load of sandals he was importing to sell at his Surf and Wear shop on Carrillo Street. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing, and grateful for the opporunity to have known him.
Tom Moore

TomMoore (anonymous profile)
December 30, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Unless there are any changes, Jeff's Paddle Out Ceremony will be held Thursday, January 13 at 11 AM at Ledbetter Beach. All of young grems (who are now much older) plan to attend. Jeff was an inspiration to us all. We'd hang out at Surf and Wear whenever it was flat. Jeff always tried to convince me to give up my Yater Spoon and switch to White Owl. His "Poor Boys" were great boards, and cost only $80 bucks instead of $90 bucks for my Spoon! Jeff will be sorely missed!

kimsturmer (anonymous profile)
January 5, 2011 at 2:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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