In Memorium: P. Gerald White

Many of our CIRC members fondly remember Jerry "PG" White. It is with sadness that we share the news his recent passing. Jerry was a long time member of our Wilmington CRE community and was involved with CIRC for many years up until 2013. 

I'd like to share some of our members' recollections of Jerry, or "PG" as many would fondly refer to him, when asked:

Hunter Lott: PGWhite was my boss at Gilpin in the late 70's. He was successfully and completely involved in every nook and cranny of Wilmington’s real estate scene. While I cannot vouch for my accuracy 40 years gone, as to his direct leadership of CIRC, I can say he would have been an enthusiastic supporter.  A good soul gone. 

Leigh Johnstone: I’ve known Jerry from my early days at Tower Hill (THS) and remember a great tribute he received from Coach Bill Wild at a morning school assembly. I was just a wee tyke in the 6th or 7th grade, but can remember how Coach Wild recanted that he had been asked many time by THS students as to who he thought was the best athlete he had ever coached. Coach Wild rattled off a list of  Tower Hill’s really great athletes, but then surprised the school assembly (all grades 1-12)  by telling us that no one he had coached had the spirit and determination of Jerry White, who was too small to play Varsity Football but wanted to be on the Team. Coach Wild shared how Jerry was the first on the practice field and did more, without being asked, to help the players and the coaches, and that his selfless can-do spirit was infectious and contributed greatly to the Team’s winning seasons while he was at THS. 

CIRC History: Jerry was at the first meeting of most of Wilmington’s commercial real estate brokers and agents that was held in the conference room at the old PSA office  915 Delaware Avenue. This group became the CIRC, and I do believe Jerry served as Chairman for one possibly two years.  I was the Founder and 1st Chairman… then it was either Jerry of Jack Stoltz…then Hunter…then it drifts off into the mists of time.  I believe it would be most fitting to have the CIRC honor PGW in some fashion.

Edd Connor: He was involved in the early revival attempts in downtown Wilmington.  If my memory is correct,  he was with the Gilpin office when Custom House Square project was first conceived.  He was always the gentleman.  I last saw him at the Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) , still pursuing knowledge.

Pete Davisson: Jerry was always one of the really nice guys, the consummate professional. Every time I had the opportunity to interact with him, it was a pleasant experience. He will be missed. I also remember the times that I saw he and Bonnie together at a Real Estate or community event. A very nice and friendly couple. I remember him involved and attending CIRC events, but I don’t remember him as President of the organization.  Of course, the organization was around for quite a few years before I arrived in 1984.

The entire White family will be in our thoughts and prayers, but special prayers for Bonnie and Martha.

Obituary

P. Gerald White of Wilmington, DE passed away at age 85 on August 18, 2019, leaving behind his wife and partner of 56 years, Bonnie, daughters Martha M. White of Wilmington and Stephanie W. Kropac (Charles) of Media, PA.  He was known as Jerry, Whitey, Cupcake, Pay, PG, Dad, Uncle Jerry to 19 nieces and nephews, and Pop Pop to his three adored grandchildren, Katie, Ben and Carter Kropac. 

Jerry White was a deal maker, a good dancer and a hard worker.  He made a lot of people laugh with his quick wit. He loved ice water, Irvin’s Ginger snaps and anything made with coconut.  He supported charities that served the homeless and the poor, and was an admirer and volunteer for Brother Ronald Giannone’s many Ministry of Caring projects.  He served on various boards in Old New Castle and Wilmington and also on the board of his fraternity at the University of Pennsylvania- St. Anthony Hall. In retirement he volunteered at Hagley and The Nemours Hospital for Children.  For fun, Jerry played golf and tennis with his friends and Rummikub with his grandchildren.  

Born to Delaware parents, Grace Carpenter White and Willard T. White, Jerry grew up with four siblings: Willard T. White, Jr. (deceased), Edward C. White and R. Bruce White, of Wilmington, and Gail White Landon, of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, and with many cousins in the Wilmington area.  He graduated from Tower Hill (where he was given the Service Award), then the Wharton School at Penn (where he was a coxswain for the crew team). Jerry served as a Supply Officer in the Navy for 3 ½ years, mostly as paymaster and purchaser for the North Atlantic Fleet aboard the destroyer USS Robinson DD562.  He never was sea sick. His destroyer took him to Sweden, Spain, Italy and Greece and went through the Suez Canal to Karachi, Pakistan. He loved the Navy. 

Jerry became a skilled commercial realtor, first at Gilpin Van Trump and Montgomery, then at P. Gerald White, Inc., which he started in 1979.  He handled commercial leasing and sales of office buildings, sold empty schools, obsolete hospitals, historic structures, brown fields, airspace, and raw land, and he acquired properties for Wilmington’s redevelopment.  He also worked as a consultant and did pro bono work for various groups in the Wilmington area.  Jerry led P. Gerald White, Inc, until becoming a Senior Director for the international real estate company, Cushman and Wakefield, in 1996.  As a member of The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, he made sales all over the country and was Cushman and Wakefield’s high ranking producer until retirement in 2011.

A Celebration of his Life will be held at the Wilmington Country Club on 9/7 at noon.  Friends and Family are invited.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to Ministry of Caring Inc., 115 E. 14th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801-3209 or Sunday Breakfast Mission, PO Box 352, Wilmington DE 19899-0352. 

Obituary was published in The News Journal from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, 2019. For online condolences, visit www.chandlerfuneralhome.com.