SCHUYLKILL - Dave White was raised in Delaware County. However, the Phoenixville area and community became his second home for his adult life.
White died suddenly on Dec. 1 at the age of 61.
A retired mathematics teacher at the Chester County Technical College High School, Pickering Campus, he was also widely known for his volunteer work as commissioner of the Phoenixville Babe Ruth League (PBRL) at deSanno Field and as public address announcer for the Phoenixville Phantoms football team at Washington Field.
A celebration of his life was held on Dec. 17 at CAT-Pickering on Charlestown Road.
Judith Volz, Dave’s niece, read a letter from Dave’s parents, Glenn and Betty White, who live in Lakeland, Fla.
Retired teacher Jim Matty served as master of ceremonies. Father Jim Badeaux of St. Michael’s Byzantine Church in Mont Clare gave the opening prayer.
John Coll, president of the PBRL baseball organization as well as head coach of the Red Sox team, read scripture.
Matty recalled White as a friend who always liked to crack jokes.
Father Badeaux said he and White share a love for doing crossword puzzles.
“He was a wonderful, unique person,” said Father Badeaux. “He had a big heart. He loved everybody. We have to keep his memory alive.”
Volz was impressed by the large crowd attending the service that also included a video.
“So many people are coming by and coming here,” said Volz. “It shows how much they loved Dave. We are thankful to you for having embraced him.”
Guest speakers included Barry Sankey, longtime Phoenix and area sports writer; Gene Bernat, from the Phoenixville Babe Ruth League; Kathleen “Bunchy” McCoy, of the Slovak-American Citizens Club; Sue Coglianese, secretary-treasurer of the Phoenixville Dart League; Craig Zimmerman, Phoenixville Moose Lodge #1273; Rick Ford, retired teacher at CAT-Pickering; Peggy LaRosa, teacher at Technical College High School; Robert Davis, former student with the Class of 1982; Brooke Himes, former student with the Class of 2009; and Roberta Cunliffe, a girlfriend for four years.
“People don’t realize how much time he spent for the youth of this town,” said Bernat. “I went on trips with him as a friend. One person will not be able to replace Dave White. He did that much. He is irreplaceable. He was one of my best friends. As far as I am concerned, there has never been a better man that lived on this earth.”
McCoy recalled White as an officer of the Slovak Club.
“Dave did everything with gusto,” she said. “He spent countless hours volunteering with youth with his friend, Tom Graham. The Phoenixville community is so lucky to be your second family.”
Coglianese knew White from the dart league and was also a mathematics teacher for 25 years at nearby Methacton High School.
“He participated in so many activities,” sid Coglianese.
Zimmerman said he did not know White personally, but mainly as a Moose lodge brother.
Ford remembered knowing White for 40 years. They first met in 1974 and then taught math together for more than 20 years. They were also roommates for two years. Ford said that because of White, he met his wife.
“There are so many emotions that overwhelm us,” said Ford. “The memories give us relief from our sadness and make us laugh.”
LaRosa was also a colleague of White’s as a math teacher.
“Dave was an honorable man,” said LaRosa. “He always spoke the truth. He never minced words. He was one you could go to for extra help. He had a passion for math, and he instilled that in his students. He was always loyal to his profession. He was loyal to baseball in Phoenixville. He was loyal to football, and he was loyal to the Phoenixville community most of all. He was at every parade and fundraiser. He had empathy and was sensitive who had an uncomfortable home life. He gave his most with no expectation. He gave selflessly to the Slovak Club and Babe Ruth League.He gave his time. He showed by his actions. We shared a passion for good times. He showed that was the way to succeed in life.”
The program ended with the singing of “Sweet Caroline.”
Special thanks went to Frank McKnight for use of the Technical College High School facility; Al Tucker and the Commercial & Graphics Arts Department; Jim Morgitan and his custodial staff; and Devlin Rosmos Kepp Gotcha Funeral Services for its help.
Donations can be made to the David G. White Memorial Fund, c/o Phoenixville Federal Savings & Trust, P.O. Box 708, Phoenixville, Pa. 19460-0708.