Dr. Gerald Ray White (Jerry)

Date of Death

September 4, 2016

Dr. Gerald Ray White (Jerry), 86, of Santa Barbara, California, passed away early Sunday morning September 4, 2016 at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. A celebration of his amazing life will be held on November 13th at 3pm at the Unitarian Church, 1535 Santa Barbara St.

Jerry was born in Delevan, Illinois in 1930 to Rev. Urvin and Mildred White. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, the former Dolores (Dodie) Bader and two daughters Sheryl Nichols and Cynthia Gorski. He is also survived by five grand children: Kendra Chase, Sean Gorski, Ryland Chase, Mathew Gorski and Zachary Gorski. He was preceded in death by his son Gary White, who passed away in 1988, and his sister, Eleanor and brother, Wayne who passed away several years earlier.

Jerry was a ministry and army brat, following his parents through towns and states across the country as his father developed a Baptist ministry and served as an Army Chaplain during World War Two. A good part of his youth was spent in Kansas where he spent most summers working on his uncles’ farms.

He went to Redlands College where he met Dodie, the love of his life and they were married on June 12, 1951. Jerry went on to earn a Masters in Speech Therapy at the University of Denver, served as an ensign in the Navy during the Korean War and completed a PhD. in Psychology at UCLA in 1962.

Jerry is perhaps best know for his 50 years of Psychology and Family Counseling in Santa Barbara. He moved his young family to Goleta in 1963 and went to work at the County Mental Health Hospital. A few years later he established what would become a life long partnership with another psychologist, Norm Jacobs and they went into private practice.

Jerry was truly a prince among men. He helped hundreds of men and women through life and relationship crises. In his caring and compassionate way, he believed in the power of forgiveness to help people understand their history while finding a way forward. In retirement he took on the role of counselor to many graduate psychology students at UCSB.

Family was always the center of Jerry’s life. He and Dodie bought a cabin on Lake Almanor when their children were very young and made it a haven for family and friends for many years. After the loss of their son, Gary, Jerry and Dodie established a scholarship with the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation and have served on the selection committee for the Foundation for several years. Jerry also served on the Board of the Foundation.

The Whites are members of the Unitarian church where Jerry sang in the choir and participated in a men’s counseling group. A strong baritone, Jerry sang with the Santa Barbara Choral Society, the Barbershop Society and several barbershop quartets. And finally, Jerry was an artist. His sculptures and stained glass will live on to remind us of the amazing person who was Jerry White.

In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations to the Jerry and Gary White Memorial Scholarship Fund thru the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation.


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