A TRIBUTE TO A FRIEND

EAMON EARSTON WHITE SR.
1918-1986
One day, I was watching a program on television, and there was a story about a little town in Eastern Kentucky. I actually became homesick, because even though I had never heard of the town, the scenes reminded me so much of the time that I had spent in West Virginia. Even though I have never lived in West Virginia, I feel as if I had, because many years ago, I spent many holidays and summer vacation time visiting with a family there, namely the Eamon White Family. He was my father-in-law. When I married his son, he told my mother that he could never take the place of my father, who had died, but that he would be there for me. And he was. In my presence, he never visibly showed any difference between me and his own children. And I believe that was also true when I was not around. He was a happy person, always glad to see us arrive with our car loaded down, for a long stay, as it took about 10 hours to make the trip. He would always greet me with a hug, sometimes standing on a stool so that he could be taller than me. This was the kind of person he was, always in a good mood, always wanting to make people feel at home. And he and his wife, Mae, made everyone feel at home. It was never quiet in that house. If anyone wanted to watch television or read a book, they better think again. Someone was always dropping by, many times to share a meal, and the house was always noisy with happy people, proud to see one another. Sometimes, in a quiet moment, he would sit on the steps, and I would sit in a rocking chair on the front porch, and we would solve all the problems of the world. I enjoyed those conversations, such as those I never had with my own father, who died before he and I had a chance to be friends. Eamon's son and I divorced, and I made one trip after the divorce to visit with him in the hospital. Even in his sickness, he was still concerned about me and asked about my mother. He died the next month. During the years since his death, I have made one only more trip to West Virginia, and while I was there I visited his grave.


From THE LOGAN BANNER

"Neighbors" written by Dwight Williamson: "Eamon White is one of those quiet people who goes through life rather obscurely with most people never knowing the real story which is now behind him. White has been a resident of Logan for 37 years and has lived in the city for nearly 64 years. About the only time he has ever been away from Logan was during the World War when he spent hearly five years in the Army. He was involved in eight campaigns in Europe, including Algeria, French Moroco, Tunesia, Sicily, Normandy, Northern France, Rheinland and Ardennes. It was during one of those battle that he received the Bronze Star. A newspaper clipping listed the following reasons for his medal honors: 'Ability, valor, cool-headedness, initiative and a sense of duty are some of the personality traits which brought honor and glory to Eamon E. White when he was awarded the Bronze Star of the U. S. Army in the European theater in a citation dated Feb. 17th. White was honored for personally saving a valuable ammunition truck while his unit was under an enemy counter-attack for a 48-hour period. The truck had been abandoned, but White risked his life to retrieve the vehicle while under enemy fire. 'We had to call in some British spitfire planes to help us out,' White recalled. 'Our planes were located too far away to get to us in time.' White, who had to lie to get into the service, said the reason he joined was simply because 'there was nothing else to do around here.' He said there was no work, and he really never had much of a life. When he was only four-years-old, his mother died. At age seven, his father left him a brother and a sister for 17 years. He and his brother and sister made it the best they could, but wound up separated for several years. His brother, did not actually know Eamon until he was about 10-years-old. His sister of Chapmansville, spent much of her childhood in Ohio. Eamon said he had to fend for himself for most of his life, and wound up quitting the sixth grade simply because he couldn't afford it. He said he lived with Rose Browning in Logan during some of his childhood. Mrs. Browning was a daughter of the legendary Devil Anse Hatfield. 'I was more like a helping hand than anything else,' White said, recalling that Mrs. Browning hardly ever spoke of her feuding father. So when he got old enough, he lied to the Army when he said he had finished the seventh grade, a requirement for enlistment during that time. After leaving the Army, Eamon spent considerable time in a hospital suffering from battle fatigue. But he came to Logan and about one year later, he married Mae and they have made their home there ever since. The article went on to state that the Whites were very happy. He continued to live in the same location until his death.


Obituary

From the Logan Banner: Eamon E. White, Sr., Logan, died Friday. He was a son of the late Edmond S. and Birdie White. He was a veteran, having served in World War II. Survivors include his wife, Mae; two daughters, two sons, one sister, one brother, and seven grandchildren. Services will be conducted at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Evans Funeral Home in Chapmanville. Burial will follow in Forest Lawn Cemetary at Pecks Mill.


Eamon's Ancestors

The first known White ancestor was John White Sr. His son was John (Jack) White Jr. Jack's son Maston White b. 1814 married Susan/Susannah Neese b. abt. 1830. She was his second wife. They had a son Henry White b. Oct. 1860. Henry married Alice Cynthia Neese who was born November 7, 1860 and died January 30, 1921 in Logan County, West Virginia. They had a son named Edmond Simon White born January 17, 1892. He married Birdie Mabel Johnson. Birdie was born March 8, 1887. (I have not proven any of the early lineage through primary resources. Some of my information came from a family Bible, some from WFT, and some from Janet Hager and David Turner research.)


Links and Webrings

  • Arline's Ancestors
  • Eamon's mother:
  • Birdie Mabel Johnson
  • Charles "Jerry" White
  • Angie White Hutchings
  • Mae's family
  • Simpkins Family
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