Mr. Willis S. “Pete” White, Jr., age 94, of Columbus, OH passed away Sunday, July 4, 2021 in Murfreesboro, TN. He was born in Chesapeake, VA to the late Willis S. White, Sr. and Carrie Culpepper White. Mr. White proudly served his country in the United States Navy during World War II. He then graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute with a degree in electrical engineering. He later earned a Master’s degree in industrial management as a Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Except for a short period serving the Defense Electric Power Administration during the Korean conflict, Mr. White spent his entire career at American Electric Power, ultimately serving as CEO and Chairman of the Board. He also served as the first American chairman of CIGRE International, a director of the Bank of New York Mellon, chairman of Battelle Institute, and was a very special envoy to Poland for President George H. W. Bush.
A devout Christian, Mr. White dedicated much of his life to public service and charitable causes. While residing in Virginia, he was president of the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce, as well as president of the Blue Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts of America. In Ohio, he was a campaign chairman of the United Way of Franklin County, a chairman of Riverside Methodist Hospital, and board member of Ohio Health. Mr. White was also a board member of the Ohio Methodist Theological Seminary. He was a firm believer in the importance of education and served as rector of the Board of Visitors at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
Mr. White is survived by his wife Adele McComas White; children, Willis S. White, III, Marguerite W. Spangler and her husband Dr. Pat W., and Cynthia White-Haight; grandchildren, Dr. M. Lee Spangler, II, Nicholas W. Spangler, Alexander J. Haight, and Charles Z. Haight; two great-grandchildren, Owen and Collins Spangler. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, LaVerne B. White.
A Celebration of Life and burial of Mr. White’s cremated remains will take place at a later date in Ohio.
For those who wish, memorials may be made to Alive Hospice, 1629 Williams Dr, Murfreesboro, TN 37129.
An online guestbook is available for the family at www.woodfinchapel.com. Woodfin Memorial Chapel (615) 893-5151.