Richard S. White was born in New York in 1920. In Rye his family lived at 66 Milton Rd (Blindbrook Apartments) and were members of the Church of the Resurrection. Richard served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II.
With the outbreak of World War II, Rich joined the Marine Corps and studied Japanese at the U. S. Navy Language School at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He became a Marine combat intelligence officer serving with the 28th Marine Regiment, which captured Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. As he put it, Rich was lucky enough to survive. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his efforts at talking Japanese soldiers out of their caves oral advocacy at its best . His interpretation of a captured Japanese map disclosing details of the defenses on Mt. Suribachi materially aided the successful conclusion of the battle.
Richard S. White, was born in New York City in 1920 to Margaret Connick and Paul Marcy White. He graduated from Phillips Academy (Andover), Hamilton College and Yale Law School, where
he was a member of the board of the Yale Law Journal and won the prize for best mock court presentation to a jury.
With the outbreak of World War II, Rich joined the Marine Corps and studied Japanese at the U.S. Navy Language School at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He became a Marine combat intelligence officer serving with the 28th Marine Regiment, which captured Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. As he put it, Rich was ''lucky enough to survive.'' He was awarded a Bronze Star for his efforts at talking Japanese soldiers out of their caves (oral advocacy at its best). His interpretation of a captured Japanese map disclosing details of the defenses on Mt. Suribachi materially aided the successful conclusion of the battle.
After completing his military service with a stint in peacetime Japan, Rich finished law school at Yale in 1946 and left New York ''for the wilds of the Pacific Northwest.'' He was admitted to the Washington bar in 1947.
In 1952 Rich joined the Seattle law firm now known as Helsell Fetterman LLP. His long and distinguished career as a commercial litigator at that firm for six decades emphasized construction, utilities and antitrust work. His antitrust work included cases in the flour, sugar, milk, telephone, beer, whiskey, beef, sports, timber, mint oil, peat moss and cruise ship industries, among others. Rich also represented the City of Seattle as special counsel for the construction of Gorge Dam and in contractor claims for City Light involving Ross Powerhouse and raising Diablo Dam on the Skagit River, and in obtaining Federal Power Commission licenses for Boundary Dam and High Ross Dam.
Rich liked to say that he never had a dull moment since he started practicing law and never regretted leaving Manhattan for the Northwest. He passed away on January 17, 2012, after a short illness. An active attorney right up until the end, Rich's hard work, integrity and vigorous advocacy were an inspiration to everyone who knew him. He was loved and admired by colleagues and adversaries alike for his good humor and personal warmth.
With his years of service in the military and decades spent upholding justice, Rich lived a life dedicated to his family, his community and his country.
Rich is survived by his daughters Sarah, Chris, Meg and Mary and son Sam, grandchildren James, Kate, Kelsey and Julian, stepchildren Palmer and Polly Pettersen, and Palmer's children Mick, Piper and Erin. Rich was preceded in death by his first wife Kathrin (''Kaki'') and his second wife Sue, and by his daughter Ann, and his death was followed shortly thereafter by the death of his daughter-in-law Nita.
A celebration of Rich's life is planned for Saturday, February 18, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, 1310 Madison Avenue, Bainbridge Island. A reception will follow the service, at a location to be announced. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to the ''Richard S. White Fellowship'' fund, c/o Helsell Fetterman LLP, 1001 Fourth Avenue, Suite 4200, Seattle, WA 98154. The fund was established in 2010 in honor of Rich and his desire to encourage diversity in the study of law.
St. Cecilia's Catholic Church: View Map