James G. White, M.D.
White, James G., M.D. Died peacefully at his home with his family in Minneapolis on July 8, 2016. He was 86 and had been a long-time professor at the University of Minnesota, retiring in 2014 as a Regents' Professor. Jim was a unique individual whose interests were both broad and deep. He was devoted to his family, his work as a hematologist specializing in platelets, and to the game of golf. Born in Duluth in 1929 to Robert J. White and Catherine Sinnott White. Jim's father was a captain in the US Army and died in Bataan, Philippines in 1942. From the time Jim was very young, his family shared a home with his Aunt Helen and his cousins, William and Patrick Hedrick. In 1935, the two families relocated to Minneapolis. Catherine and Helen raised the four boys together as brothers. They attended school and college together and had a very special bond. Jim graduated from De La Salle High School in 1947. He graduated from St. Thomas College in 1951, where he was active in athletics, playing on the championship football teams of 1947-49 and the Cigar Bowl team of 1949. Jim was named to the 1950 Little All-America Football Team. After completing his undergraduate degree, he turned down the Los Angeles Rams to attend the University of Minnesota Medical School, graduating in 1955. That same year he married the love of his life, Mary Simonet, and moved to Detroit for his internship. Drafted into the US Army in 1958, Jim was stationed to serve in Fort Meade, MD as a doctor. In 1960, he began working at the University of Minnesota. He spent more than 50 years working at the University of Minnesota, specializing in hematology research. Jim pioneered the use of the electron microscope to study platelets which are critical for normal blood clotting. He was responsible for major breakthroughs in the understanding of the changes in the functions that accompany many blood disorders, which greatly improved the treatment of bleeding and clotting disorders. Jim served on the National Institutes of Health and published over 700 articles during his long academic career. He brought the tool of electron microscopy from its infancy, and his photo-micrographs adorn the pages of the best hematology texts around the world. Jim received numerous awards from the University of Minnesota throughout his life, including being named Regents' Professor of Pediatrics, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology in 1984, and the Harold S. Diehl Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2005. Jim was acknowledged as the top platelet doctor in the world. He was recognized nationally and internationally with many awards for his scholarly research and contributions to the field of medicine, eventually receiving the Hemostasis & Thrombosis Research Society Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. Jim greatly enjoyed the game of golf, playing all over the world. Whether he was up at his place on Lake Sylvan, at home in Minneapolis or on the golf course, Jim loved spending time with his family and friends. He was preceded in death by his brother Robert J. White, M.D., formerly of Cleveland, OH; and by his sons Gregory and Michael. He is survived by his wife Mary; children Catherine (Markellos) Tsarouhas, Thomas (Kelly Klein) and James (Ruthann); grandchildren Parker, Jack, Emmanuel, Maria, Harriet and Sylvia; cousins William and Patrick Hedrick; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Mass of Christian burial will be at 11:00 a.m. on July 22 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 4537 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until immediately prior to service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Foundation (2021 L Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036); or St. Joan of Arc Church (4537 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419); or to the charity of your choice. GILLBROTHERS.com Minneapolis (612) 861-6088
Published on July 17, 2016
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