Patrick Henry White, 82, passed away peacefully in Columbia, Missouri on Friday, April 6 after several years of advanced dementia. A private burial is planned for May 13 at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Pat was born in St. Louis where he attended Kirkwood High School, lettering in wrestling and baseball, then moved on to William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where he was a 4-year letterman in baseball and a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Upon graduation, Pat married his high school sweetheart (Dolores) and took a job as teacher and coach at Pembroke Country Day School in Kansas City, where he remained for over 30 years as a teacher, coach, and athletic director. During his tenure, he coached basketball, baseball, football, golf, and wrestling, taking the baseball team to two state titles. After serving as an assistant athletic director, he was promoted to Athletic Director. During his tenure he contributed to the significant growth in the athletic programs and facilities and oversaw the merger of the athletic programs of Pem-Day and Sunset Hill to the current Pembroke Hill School.
After a wrestling injury in 1958, he stayed involved with the sport as a high school wrestling official. For the next 43 years, he officiated at 28 Missouri state championship tournaments and served as the co-head official for many of those. He attended 50 state tournaments either as a wrestler, coach, official or rules interpreter. In addition, he served on the National Federation Wrestling Rules Committee, spoke at many State Coaches and Officials rules meetings throughout the region, and served as an evaluator for MSHSAA. After receiving several distinguished awards, he was inducted into the Missouri Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1988. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame inducted him and awarded him its prestigious “Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award” for achievements in and service to the sport in 2006.
In addition to officiating, teaching, and coaching, Pat was also an avid softball player for20 years with a U.S. Touring Softball team. In the summers, when not playing softball, he served as the manager of the swimming pools at the Kansas City and Indian Hills Country Clubs. On weekends for 18 years in the 70’s and 80’s, he served as the manager/host of the visiting team locker room at Arrowhead Stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs. After leaving Pembroke in 1991, he worked as a head golf pro for several years and qualified to play in the Senior PGA. He carried a 1.9 handicap and even scored a hole-in-one to win a new Cadillac.
Pat’s dedication to teaching and coaching impacted thousands of young people throughout Missouri and the region. During his retirement, he spent much of his time with Heather (who he married in 1989) and his many dogs in the Missouri Ozarks. He is survived by his former wife (Dolores Simonie), daughter Patti Jo Gaughan (Tim), son Tommy (Leslie), stepdaughter Tiffany Parks (Adam), son-in-law Richard Rathbun, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his wife Heather, daughter Sandy Rathbun, grandson Connor White, stepson Matt Cooper, and sister Judy White.Service Information:
A private burial is planned for Friday, May 13 at Memorial Park Cemetery at Park Lawn Funeral Home.