Washington Evening Journal

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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 21, 2018

Howard Keith White

Oct 10, 2017




July 26, 1921 - July 7, 2017

Howard Keith White passed away July 7, 2017 at Hospice House in San Luis Obispo, Calif. at the age of 95. Funeral services were held August 1, 2017 at the Los Osos, Calif. Cemetery.

Howard Keith White was born July 26, 1921 to Howard and Goldie (Miller) White near South English, Iowa. He graduated from Kinross High School in 1938. He farmed with his father until the beginning of World War II when he left for Burbank, Calif. to work at the Lockheed airplane plant. He was invited to join a team that was involved in a seminal project for what was to become known as Lockheed's "Skunk Works" - a group developing "Advanced Development Projects" and is now synonymous with secret research and development. The first project was the development of the XP-80 jet fighter which was designed and built in 143 days; seven fewer than required. Workers were sworn to secrecy until the project's successful completion - a secret he kept even from his sister although she lived with him in California during this time! After the completion of the XP-80, he served in the Navy until honorably discharged at the end of the war when he returned to Iowa and the family farm.

He married Darlene Williams from Glendale, Calif. on June 6, 1948 at The Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. They farmed near South English until the late 1950s when they moved to Glendale, Calif. Keith worked for the Burbank school system until retirement. Keith and Darlene moved to Los Osos, Calif. and enjoyed their retirement years until Darlene died in 2012.

Keith never lost his love of the farm, took great pride in his yard and raised many flowers, especially roses. John Deere farm equipment was always of interest to him and one of the highlights of his Iowa visit several years ago was riding in a 21st century combine during harvest. He was awed with the computerization in today's agricultural production. Woodworking was a hobby and he made many articles for his family. He brought his children back to Iowa numerous times and maintained a close friendship with his Iowa friends and family until the end of his life. He was a Mason and long-time member of the Presbyterian Church.

Keith is survived by four children: Larry White (Pam) of California, Linda Hurd (Tom) of California, Lois Hart (Bob) of Texas and Lorraine Clark (Don) of California; nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Maxine White Davisson of Washington, Iowa, nieces, nephews and extended family members.

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