John William “Bill” White, age 86 of Clare, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, May 12, 2023, surrounded by his family. On March 27, 1937, Bill was born the son of Thomas and Alice (Postma) White in Clare, MI. Other than brief periods of time during his early childhood and his early work career, Bill was a lifelong resident of the Clare area and a proud member of the CHS Class of 1954. He was an accomplished machinist with sixty-plus years in the trade. Bill’s earliest work career began in Clare at the Seiter Block Plant, and then to the Clary Corp. in Pasadena, CA. before returning to Clare where he began his career in machining for Holley Carburetor. After fourteen years of service with Holley, Bill moved on to machine for Future Mold of Farwell for ten years before striking out on his own as the owner and operator of J & B Tool Company—a business that he ran for forty years and was proud to have become an integral supplier for companies like Integrity Machine Services, ABC Battery, Dow Chemical, and Hemlock Semiconductor, as well as other firms all over the country. At age 82, Bill finally retired to spend time in a few of his other interests like golfing, playing pool and ping pong with his wife Fern, and enjoying his morning coffee at the local café with the “Old Farts Club”. Bill was also an active member of the St. Cecilia Church.
On June 26, 1999, Bill was united in marriage to Fern Williams, and she survives him. Other survivors include his sons Larry, Wayne, Mark, and Eric White, his stepdaughter Annette (Dan) Forbes, his sister Lois Zeller, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Bill was preceded in death by his parents Thomas and Alice White, his son Isaiah White, his brother Paul Michael White, his stepson James Williams, and his brother-in-law Fay Zeller.
A funeral mass in honor of Bill will be held on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at the St. Cecilia Church at 11:00 A.M. with Monsignor Francis Koper officiating. A rosary service will be held on the 17th at the church before the mass from 9:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. and the visitation will be held from 10:00 A.M. to the time of mass. Friends may also visit the White family at the Clare Chapel of the Stephenson-Wyman Funeral Home on Tuesday, May 16th from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. Memorial contributions in honor of Bill may be directed to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. For those unable to attend services, online condolences may be shared at www.stephenson-wyman.com