William Sanford White
A third-generation Californian, William Sanford (Bill) White of Glendora was born on Santa Catalina Island. He spent his childhood in the town of Avalon, where his father served as Mayor. Bill White has always been the island’s unofficial historian, having previously published “Santa Catalina: It’s Magic, People, and History” and “Santa Catalina Island Goes to War: World War II, 1941-1945.”
During World War II, Mr. White served in the U.S. Navy Fleet where he saw combat duty in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of operation aboard the destroyer escort, USS Johnnie Hutchins (DE-360). The ship and crew were awarded nine campaign ribbons and four battle stars after the Okinawa amphibious landing and sinking three enemy submarines.
Bill White was president of the Robert H. Peterson Company, manufacturers of Real-Fyre fireplace accessories, gas logs and Fire Magic barbecues, in the City of Industry, California, for more than 35 years until he retired in 2000. During his tenure at the Peterson Company, Mr. White was a pioneer in the development and manufacturing of high-quality fireplace and barbecue products distributed and sold nationwide.
For more than 50 years, Mr. White was active in community and business affairs, he was past president of the Crown City Kiwanis Club of Pasadena, California, and past president of the Industry Manufacturers Council in the City of Industry. He served on the Alumni board of Governors and as president of the William Stewart Young Society at Occidental College where he was recipient of the Auld Lang Sine Alumni Award. He served as an elected Council Member and Harbor Committee member for the City of Avalon and was Director and Trustee for the Monte Vista Grove Homes, Pasadena, California. Mr. White was also Chairman for the Omega Kappa of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity Alumni Association at Occidental College.
Mr. White was married for over fifty years to his sweetheart, Martha, also deceased. They lived in Glendora and Avalon, had three children; a daughter, Kim, and two sons, Scott and Taylor and four grandchildren, Alyssa, Amber, Claire and Colin.