Gary L. White, 81

Gary L. White, age 81 of Nashua, died peacefully with his family at his side on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at the 9th Street Chautauqua Guest Home in Charles City.

Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, at Cedar Point Church, Nashua, with Pastor Darin Cerwinske presiding. Private family interment will take place at a later day in Swan Cemetery, Swan.

Friends may greet the family from 4 – 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, at the Hugeback Johnson Funeral Home - Olson Chapel in Nashua. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday. Online condolences for Gary's family may be left at

Gary L. White was born Sept. 20, 1938, in Decorah, the son of Harry and Agnes (O’Brien) White, and at a young age, his family moved to the Chickasaw area.

Gary grew up in a family of seven, and his love for the outdoors was born at an early age. He attended Nashua High School, where he played football and basketball and ran track — lettering all four years in each sport. But Gary wasn’t just an athlete; he was active in the school’s drama department — performing in nine one-act and full-length plays.

After graduating with the Class of 1958, he took a job doing road construction, but as he neared the annual “winter layoff” in 1960, he took a job at Carnation in Waverly. The nickel-per-hour pay cut was worth it to have steady work, and on Oct. 10, 1960, he worked his first day at the plant, making $1.58 an hour.

Gary married Mary O’Neill on Jan. 17, 1960, and the couple raised six children on an acreage just outside of Nashua, before they later divorced. Gary was a loving and caring father, and attended his children's events and games at school when he was able, but as the only one of his siblings to graduate from high school, his first and most important goal for his children is that they take their schoolwork seriously.

Gary drove race cars, especially at the track in Midway, north of Nashua, and when he “retired” from driving, he enjoyed following his family members who followed in his footsteps. He was an avid hunter, fisherman and trap shooter, and he always had feeders in his yard and enjoyed watching the birds come by for a snack. Gary always had a green thumb, and his homes were known for all the plants and flowers in them. He also was a big Iowa fan, especially when it came the Hawkeye football and basketball teams.

Meanwhile, Gary was the epitome of a hard worker; for 39 years, he worked at Carnation, now Nestle, and held a variety of positions — shipping and receiving clerk, packet packer, stockroom clerk, CIM packets, HCM packets, bagger, low-speed packaging operator, specialty package room and packaging operator on the canister line. And if it was a workday, Gary showed up. His children remember him missing only one day of work, and that was when virtually every road in our corner of the state was closed because of a blizzard.

On Sept. 30, 1999, after 39 years of service, he retired, and in retirement, he rarely missed his grandchildren’s activities. He loved his 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren with all his heart.

Several years ago, Gary moved to the 9th Street Chautauqua Guest Home in Charles City, and the employees there loved spending time with Gary. His family will always be grateful for the care and compassion both the 9th Street Chautauqua Guest Home and St. Croix Hospice employees gave to Gary.

Survivors include two sons, Greg (Janet) White, Troy (Tami) White, all of Nashua; three daughters, Terri (Doug) Gibbs of Nashua, Glenda (Kurt) Schmidt of Ionia, Ann (Pat) Ferch of Nashua; thirteen grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; one brother, Jim White of New Hampton; two sisters, Joyce Lockey of Carlisle, IA, Judy Learn of Nashua.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Tracy White; two brothers, Larry White, Bill White; one sister, Rose Schmidt

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