• John White

    April 1, 1941 - March 16, 2021

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    March 16, 2021

    John White (husband, dad, grandpa, uncle, friend, and brother) died at 5:45am EST this morning on his and Nola's 57th wedding anniversary. He passed peacefully with mom and Steve beside him. On the evening before he died, Johnny's wife and family were able to talk with him along with Steve's wife and family. We love John and we are thankful for his life and testimony as a follower of Christ. May God the Father of mercies and giver of comfort be with us as we mourn and may God receive John Barkley White's spirit who is now delivered from the burden of his cancer and suffering.

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    John Barkley White, 79, went home to be with the Lord on March 16, 2021, at his residence in Lima, Ohio, from complications of cancer. John was born to the late John C., and Savannah White of Plymouth, IN, on April 1, 1941. He and his beloved wife, Nola M. Bentley, were married on March 16, 1964.

    John was born with a big heart and a larger-than-life personality. Enthusiastic for a time about golf, cooking, Bobby Knight and IU basketball, and any activity that involved a friend. In retirement, he focused more on landscaping and movie-watching. Always a connoisseur of film, he would immerse himself in the movie’s stories and would not hesitate to research or even call people associated with the films. So mesmerized by the story of “Rudy,” he looked up Rudy’s phone number and called Rudy’s mother. After an inquisitive conversation, he asked her if she would mind sending him a signed photograph of her son. She agreed. His pursuit of connecting to the people and the stories that moved him was insatiable.

    John was best known for his professional accolades, of which there are many. His journey had a bumpy start. His first semester at Indiana University he earned a .8. He promptly decided it best to join the U.S. Army Medical Corps. After being honorably discharged, he graduated magna cum laude with a Masters in Health Administration from Indiana University. Later in his career, he attended Harvard University where he studied Advanced Management Programs.

    He spent 30+ years as a hospital CEO. Those years were divided among Hancock Memorial Hospital, Floyd Memorial Hospital, and Lima Memorial Hospital. His accomplishments while CEO are well documented. Among his most significant in Lima were being instrumental in the joint venture between the YMCA and Lima Memorial Hospital, and creating the vision for the Lima Memorial Medical Park. He served on an inexhaustible number of boards and committees, including Allen County Heart Association, Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Ohio Hospital Insurance Co., Bradfield Center, Cerebral Palsy Clinic, Community Urban Redevelopment of Lima and Allen County, LimaLand Business for Progress Committee, Rotary Club, United Way, WTLW TV 44, West Central Ohio Regional Development Board, Red Cross (Greenfield, IN chapter), Heart Association (Indiana Affiliate), Chamber of Commerce for Southern Indiana, Community Savings Bank, Indiana and Ohio Hospital Association, Indiana University Southeast, and Southern Indiana Leadership. We now understand why, upon retirement, he refused to wear anything other than loungewear, much to Nola’s chagrin.


    When he was 16, he became an Eagle Scout and received the “My God and Country Religious Award.” His love of Jesus motivated him to participate in various ministries at Christian Missionary Alliance Church and Trinity United Methodist Church with the Emmaus Walk being especially meaningful in his spiritual journey. In Lima, he enjoyed fellowship with the Shawnee Alliance Men’s Group and his involvement with the Lima Prison Ministry.

    John was a natural leader and was recognized as such throughout his entire life. From his first opportunity as a “captain of patrol” at Jefferson Elementary School in Plymouth, IN, to his final role as CEO at Lima Memorial. He had the rare gift of knowing when and how to be assertive and honoring people above himself, and all else. His north star in management was treating others right. In his own words from a 1989 article, “I’ve provided leadership by unleashing the power of people....” As CEO, John was an active and compassionate listener. He met annually with every “associate” (a term he preferred to “employee”) and would routinely put on scrubs and work alongside them. He intently listened to their concerns and used their suggestions to implement change. His associates consistently commented on how friendly and caring he was.

    Tender-hearted toward all God’s creatures, great and small, he adored his dogs, Brandie and Cubby; and Emmett, the cat. He is certainly spoiling them rotten.

    He is preceded in death by his parents John C. and Savannah White, and his sister Judy White Albert. His animated, lavishly generous, and tender spirit (and his extravagantly delicious cooking) will be deeply missed by his wife, Nola; his sons, John White (Cindy) of Waco, TX, and Steve White (Nicole) of Granville, OH; his sister Beverley Turner of Crawfordsville, IN; his nieces and nephews; and members of the MacArthur and Kurzhal families. He delighted in spoiling and praising his grandchildren Jonathan, Estie, Hannah, Henry, Eliana, and Jia. (They will miss his feasts too.)

    In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Allen County Humane Society, Helping Hands Ministry at Shawnee Alliance Church, Cable Road Alliance Church, LMH Foundation, or Lima YMCA.

  • Funeral Services: April 10, 2021

    Lima, Ohio

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    Funeral Services: April 10, 2021

    Visitation: 9:00-10:30am

    Shawnee Alliance Church

    4455 Shawnee Rd., Lima, OH


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    Funeral Services: April 10, 2021

    Celebration of Life Service: 10:30-11:30 am

    Welcome and Prayer


    Hymn: It is Well with My Soul


    Scripture Readings

    Isaiah 25:6-9; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 35-38, 42-44, 53-58; John 5:24-27


    Homily: Pastor Dick Jueckstock
    Eulogy: John White
    Eulogy: Steve White


    Hymn: Amazing Grace




    Shawnee Alliance Church

    4455 Shawnee Rd., Lima, OH

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    Funeral Services: April 10, 2021

    Interment: 11:30

    Woodlawn Cemetery, with military honors.

    1751 Spencerville Rd, Lima, OH 45805



    Henry White
    Steve White
    John White
    Jonathan White
    Don Kihara
    Stan White


    Honorary Pallbearers
    Steve Barkley
    Morry Clifton
    Mike Newberg
    Dave Pasco
    Fran Porreca
    Ken Stella
    Lynn Thompson


  • My John Memory

    We would love to hear about your favorite memory with John.

  • Tributes & Memories

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    Requiem for a Heavyweight -

    Dr. Clay Sherman

    Reposted from Dr. Clay Sherman's Website, Uncommon Leader
    Requiem for a Heavyweight, Rod Serling's gritty masterpiece, starred the great Anthony Quinn. It tells the story of a former boxer battling to define life's meaning in it's closing rounds. It's a tough story. At it's end it's clear that the heart of a champion is defined more by how we make the tough decisions than it is by those handing out prizes.
    The title came immediately to mind when I heard that my dear friend John White had passed. He'd been a hospital president in Indiana when I met him 40 years back. My work then was doing turnarounds of troubled hospitals. It's a tough nut problem, takes a huge amount of work and has an uncertain outcome. I learned early to take the measure of those who wanted to lead it as the quality of the CEO is the single biggest factor in determining success or failure. Meaning no disrespect, I found that too many execs were lightweight contenders. Some simply wanted to hire a consultant to do their work rather than leading it. Some wanted instant results not grasping that excellence requires sustained and steady attention to task. And some, frankly, lacked the character and ethic that followers need if they are to trust and commit. We all see the lightweights around us, the politicians with no soul anchors, parents who fail their children, certain bosses we've experienced. It can be disappointing.
    When Kareem Abdul Jabbar was inducted into basketball's Hall of Fame he asked his former coach Pat Riley to speak. Riley's words were thoughtful:
    Some people think the worst thing that can happen to them is their own death, but they're wrong. The worst thing that can happen to you is to live a life of insignificance.
    John was anything but insignificant. He mattered.
    It was often difficult to find John in his office, he'd be out talking with staff, saying they were teaching him what to do. He didn't sit in his office strategizing or creating PowerPoints. He'd be out with the people using his presence power, get the point? He minimized psychological and social distance, cared for all as friends, and asked them to do great things. He praised liberally, telling others often how proud of them he was.
    Peter Drucker observed that effective executives are good at converting information into action. John's business card didn't indicate he was the Chief Executive Officer, or the Prince of the Pudding and Pie Filling Division. It read Chief Servant. I asked where he'd gotten that idea and he quoted the Book: "He who would be chief among you, let him be the servant of all." He didn't preach his values, he just tried to live them. Staff had his home number. God had his number, too.
    And always, always, the universal lubricant of humor. His smile and laugh were catching. In perhaps the most embarrassing situation of my career I'd been conducting a two day seminar for an Ohio hospital John was running. On the first day we'd discussed the importance of not being late for meetings, and how some companies even locked their meeting doors as a way of emphasizing the importance of the work to those who were tardy. Karma is real, for the next morning my wakeup call didn't come. Leaping out of bed, rushing downstairs, I found the conference room locked. As I knocked on the door, a cacophony of laughter erupted. As I knocked again, the laughter became a din. John finally opened the door greatly enjoying the prank I so richly deserved! It's an art form really, taking a situation, infusing it with fun, and thereby driving the point home to benefit others. John was joy.
    Carl Sandburg, in his epic book Lincoln, wrote that the president's true merits were not seen until he passed. "A tall tree is best measured when it's down."
    Thanks, John. You were tall timber. Thank you for your humanity and spirit. You were a heavyweight.





    "Goodbye, babe"

    We love you.