Obituaries & Tributes

Edward Arthur "Pete" White

date of birth September 20 1934

date of death October 18 2020

September 20, 1934 to October 18, 2020

Edward Arthur “Pete” White was born on September 20, 1934 in Walthill, Nebraska. When he was six years old, Edward=s father and mother, Milford and Ruie McManigal White, after many moves searching for work, rode the train to Portland, Oregon, so that his father could work in the shipyards during World War II. He graduated from Franklin High School in 1952.

While in high school, Edward worked at Safeway grocery stores during the school year and, starting at the age of 13, for his uncle, John McManigal, during the summers. After graduation he worked full time as a carpenter until February of 1953, when he joined the U.S. Army. The Korean War was in progress but the truce was signed while he was on the ship so they were rerouted to Japan. He returned stateside in 1955.

Edward went home for Christmas leave the first of December, 1955, and got engaged to his pastor=s daughter, Beverly; after Christmas, he returned to Fort Ord for one month to be processed for his discharge. He wrote a letter a day to Beverly, each with three paragraphs; the first AI love you@, the second AI hate the Army@, and the third AI can’t wait to get home to you. They were married by her father on July 6, 1956.His mother made the wedding dress.

In January of 1957, Debra Ann was born, followed by Dani Lynn April, 1958, and by Dawn Marie December, 1959.When all three girls were in school, they added Darcy Kathleen to the family May, 1967.

As soon as he was home Pete went to work for a builder in the area, quickly working his way out of digging ditches for footings and moving up to framing foreman. After a couple years working for his uncle for starvation wages, he lettered a 4X8 sheet of plywood for a sign on his used pickup, bought bookkeeping supplies at a variety store and was in business.

They moved from their apartment to a remodeled chicken house after their first baby was born. The second baby and the success of the interior finish business prompted a move to a tract house in Vancouver, Washington. Pete opened a cabinet shop and also framed and finished several houses for Walter M. Daly and then began to work out of town, framing and finishing houses for Alling & Snyder Builders. They sold their Vancouver home and were back to Portland in 1961. After a stay in an apartment, they bought a house in Beaverton.

Pete and John Shearer formed Imperial Builders and contracted the construction of tracts of houses, apartment buildings and hotels in Portland, Vancouver, the Tri-Cities, Washington, and The Dalles, Oregon. In 1964, Pete and Beverly bought an acreage in Aloha, Oregon, built a house, filled the barn with horses and the house with kids and dogs and cats and even a parrot named Arnold. In the same year, Pete dissolved the partnership with John Shearer and formed his own company, E. A. White Construction Company, which continues in operation today. The first jobs were framing of houses and motels, but in 1969 Pete met Bill Brenner, the guru of west coast motel construction; he began to build motels for him all over the northwest.

In 1974, the family moved to a condominium in Kennewick, Washington, boarding their horses and trying to fit a Great Dane and a Basset Hound into a second floor apartment. In 1976, they moved to a much larger condo on the golf course in Richland, Washington. While they lived in that community, Pete built approximately 2000 units of hotels, apartments, and office/warehouse complexes. He also built, owned, and operated a full-service racquet club. He founded American National Bank, opening the doors in October of 1982; he served as Chairman of the Board from 1980 to 1987; he was President of the Board of Mid-Columbia Symphony and was Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Mid-Columbia Mental Health Center and Psychiatric Hospital. He was a life member and Vice-President of the Board of the Benton-Franklin County SPCA.

When the economy of the Tri Cities dried up Pete moved to Bakersfield, California with. Pete built two hotels there and Darcy graduated from Bakersfield High School.

On February 24, 1984, Dani and Dawn and Dani=s fiancé, Roy Siirila, were killed by a drunk driver on the highway to Ventura, while Pete and Beverly and his parents waited for them on their boat in the Ventura harbor. The drunk driver was also killed. These deaths were devastating for the family. In 1986, Beverly moved to North Carolina; with Pete’s help she built a house on family property. Pete decided to retire and come to live on Licklog Creek with his wife but found he was bored to death. When Bill Brenner called from Portland and asked him to come west and build the Shilo Hilltop Hotel in Pomona, California, he was on the next plane. When that job was finished, he went to Portland and built the Airport Shilo.

They bought a house in Tualatin, Oregon; Pete traveled to Kennewick to build one hundred and five tract houses and a Silver Cloud Motel. He then set up a temporary office in Salt Lake City to build two hotels in the city and one at the entrance to West Yellowstone Park. A permanent office was opened in Tualatin, from which base Pete continued to build hotels in five western states; he built 149 hotels as a general contractor.

After living in Tualatin for nine years, he bought twenty acres above the Molalla river in recently logged forest. They built a 5,000 square foot house and another 5,000 square feet of garage, barn, and shop. Their perennial garden was lovely; they slowly turned the pastures into an arboretum; the Koi flourished in their pond; and the vegetable garden fed everyone who dropped by all summer.There were horses, ponies, dogs and cats but no parrots. Pete fired up his Harley on nice days and biked the highways and roads of the Molalla Wilderness.

He had an amazing command of all aspects of construction, coupled with spatial skills at the genius level. He had a work ethic and an ability to push himself past exhaustion and continue to perform. He went from a red-necked, crew-cut boy in overalls to the President of the Board and founder of a bank. He matured from a beer-guzzling soldier to a man who meditated at least one hour a day; he evolved from an obstreperous youth in a Baptist church to an adept yogi who followed the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. His hobbies and avocations were yachting, flying, motorcycling and collecting elephant figurines. He was a certified diver and held a private pilot=s license.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, his sister Becky McClure, daughters Debra and Darcy, two precious granddaughters, Daryn and Jessica, four grandsons: Edward II, Joshua, Jacob, Julian and one great-grandson, Logan. He was predeceased by his parents, his sister Marigina Holloway and his daughters, Dani and Dawn. His funeral consists of his invitation to drop by his office on October 27th between 11:00 and 4:00 to choose an elephant figurine from his vast collection to remember him by. Molalla Funeral Chapel will direct you there. He died of emphysema, held in the loving embraces of his wife and granddaughters. He loved and was loved intensely.

5 tribute candles have been lit

Candle lit by AFP Systems Rest in Peace Pete, You will truly be missed...

Candle lit by Staff at Canby-Molalla Funeral Chapel Our sincere condolences.

Candle lit by Jeremy pierce

Candle lit by Harry and Sharon Stathos We will miss you. Fond and humorous memories will hold you close.

Candle lit by Raj Patel God Bless Pete And Family

Canby Funeral Chapel • 160 South Grant Street Canby Oregon 97013 • 266-1144
Molalla Funeral Chapel • 220 E. Main Street – Molalla, Oregon 97038 • 829-2379