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Chicago, IL (January 5, 2009) – Father William J. White, pastor emeritus of St. Gerald Parish in Oak Lawn, died on Wednesday, December 31, at his home in Oak Lawn. He was 82 years old.

A Chicago native, Fr. White was baptized at St. Sabina Parish and graduated from St. Margaret of Scotland Elementary School, both on the south side. He graduated from Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary. He was ordained on May 1, 1952 by Samuel Cardinal Stritch.

Fr. White’s first assignment in 1952 was at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, where he served as assistant pastor for eight years. From 1960 to 1966, he was assistant pastor at St. Nicholas Parish in Evanston, before being named assistant pastor of St. Jude the Apostle Parish in South Holland, where he served until 1973.

In that year, Fr. White began his 22-year affiliation with St. Gerald Parish in Oak Lawn, serving first as assistant pastor for five years, and then as pastor from 1979 until his retirement from active ministry in 1996, when he was named pastor emeritus.

Throughout his life Fr. White suffered from a number of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and pulmonary fibrosis. His classmate, Most Rev. Raymond E. Goedert, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, said he accepted these health issues without complaint and did not let them interfere with the exercise of his own faith nor with his faithful service to the people of the parishes in which he served.

Visitation for Fr. White will take place on Monday, January 5, from 3 to 8 p.m. at St. Gerald Church, 9310 S. 55th Ct., Oak Lawn. Bishop Goedert will be the main celebrant and deliver the eulogy at a funeral Mass on Tuesday, January 6, at 10 a.m. at St. Gerald Church. Interment will be at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Alsip.

Fr. White is survived by a brother, Robert, who lives in Omaha, Nebraska, and a sister, Betty Mahoney of Oak Lawn.

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