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Obituary (OH): Ernest Cantrell White '43

Posted on 05/16/2018

Ernest Cantrell White, age 95, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at McCullough- Hyde Hospital on May 13, 2018. The son of Ernest White and Hallie Eunice Cantrell White, he was born in Nashville, Tennessee on May 20, 1922. He grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, graduating from Huntsville High School in 1938, at the age of 16. He then spent a year at Marion Military Institute preparing for an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. He graduated from the Academy in June 1942 as part of the Class of '43 which was accelerated through the program during World War II. His first posting as a commissioned officer was aboard the USS Louisville, a heavy cruiser that participated in many Pacific campaigns including the defense or capture of the Aleutian Islands, Guadalcanal, Midway Island, the Northern Mariana Islands and others. For his war-time service, he was awarded the American Defense Service Medal with one star, American Area Campaign Medal, Pacific Area Campaign Medal with eight stars, WWII Victory Medal, and the National Defense Medal with one star.

Despite the rigors of the Academy and life as a Naval officer, he met and then married Anna Laura Brown White, his wife of 67 years, on October 30, 1943 in her hometown of Guntersville, Alabama. The Navy took them and their growing family around the world and across the country. Following the war, for the remainder of his 26 year career, he was stationed in positions of increasing responsibility in Vallejo and San Diego, CA; Newport, RI; Jacksonville, FL; Bayonne, NJ; York, PA; Kodiak, AK; Annapolis, MD; Yokosuka, Japan; Philadelphia, PA and Crane, IN. At the time of his retirement in 1968, he had attained the rank of Commander. Shortly before his retirement, he returned to school at Indiana University, where he received a PhD in Education Administration. He then embarked on a second career, and in 1969 moved to Oxford, Ohio to assume the position of Assistant Superintendent of the Talawanda School District. He briefly took another position as the Executive Assistant to the Indiana State School Board Association in Bloomington, Indiana, but then returned to his previous position at Talawanda, which he held until his retirement in July 1992.

A lifelong Methodist, he was a member of the Oxford United Methodist Church, where he taught Sunday School and held a variety of leadership positions. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting, fishing and birdwatching. When not enjoying the outdoors, he built an extensive stamp collection that numbered over 100,000 foreign stamps and every U.S. stamp from 1945 on. He was a life member of the Fort Hamilton Philatelic Society, in which he was very active, serving as Secretary for many years. He was preceded in death by his wife, and his eldest daughter, also named Anna Laura White. He is survived by his daughters Hallie (Alan) Sepsi and Mary (Michael) Vincent of Oxford; Julia (Bill) Carle of LaGrange, Ohio and Lucy (Adam) Klette of Cincinnati. He is also survived by ten grandchildren: Alan Sepsi, Jr.; Elizabeth (Luke) Busler; Katherine (Stephen) Lamb; David (Pamela) Vincent; Margaret (Ian) Steward; William (Melonia) Vincent; Ali Vincent; Lucy Vincent; Anne Klette; Caroline Klette, and seven great-grandchildren.

A reception will be held on Friday, May 18 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at the Oxford United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 14 N. Poplar Street, Oxford, Ohio 45056, followed by the funeral service at 3:00 p.m., interment to follow at the Oxford Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Oxford United Methodist Church, 14 N. Poplar Street, Oxford, Ohio 45056. Online condolences to

Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on May 16, 2018