MERCER ISLAND, WA (March 10, 2014) — Al White, who served Covenant High School in Alaska for more than two decades as a missionary, died Sunday. He was 92.
He married Gladys Dickson nearly 70 years ago on June 18, 1944, several weeks before he shipped off to serve as a bombardier on B-24s in Europe.
Initially making a two-year commitment to teach at the high school, White wound up serving 30 years, from 1956 to 1986. He taught several subjects, primarily industrial arts and English, and became the school’s principal in 1963. (Photo is from 1960.)
“He made a very deep and significant contribution to the people here,” said Curtis Ivanoff, field director for the Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska. “He left a great legacy.”
White was working as an industrial arts teacher in Burbank, California, when Covenant High School opened in 1954. He and Gladys were introduced to the ministry by their pastor, Robert Honnette. He had just returned from filming the denomination’s work there.
Honnette thought White’s knowledge of industrial arts would be a good fit at the school. The teacher’s great desire was an “unrestricted opportunity to deal with students regarding spiritual issues,” Ivanoff wrote in a seminary research paper about the school.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a daughter, Florence Gustafson, and two sons, Mel White and Ernest White.
A service will be held March 22. The time and location are yet to be determined.