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JAMES KRANTZ WHITE
Born: August 14, 1940
Jim White was born in New Haven, son of David White and Nellie Krantz White. His uncle Simon Krantz was a member of the Yale Class of 1927S. Jim graduated from Hillhouse High School in New Haven.
Jim was an active member of Silliman College. He was on the Activities Committee and multiple teams from touch football and basketball to baseball. He majored in History. After graduation Jim attended Columbia Law School where he received his law degree in 1965.
Jim relocated to Washington where he worked in the office of general counsel for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for a year. Jim then served in the U.S. Army as a JAG officer 1966-1970.
Following release from military service Jim joined a Washington law firm and represented clients before federal administrative agencies for 5 years. In 1975 he returned to government service joining the Department of Energy (then known as the Federal Energy Administration). During his 25 year career Jim rose to become Assistant General Counsel for Fossil Energy, focusing on policy guidance, legislative drafting and negotiation. Jim retired from the Energy Department in 2002. In his 2003 posting on the class website Jim described the excitement and challenges of government service in the energy field:
The 1970's were an exciting time to work in the energy field in Washington. The OPEC oil embargo of 1973 and the Iranian revolution of 1977 dramatically placed the spotlight on the subject and on the government's "energy policy," such as it was. I found myself involved in the thinking about, designing, and implementing just such a policy. I worked closely with top DOE management, with members and staff on Capitol Hill, and on occasion I got to the White House to work with the President's staff. From 1975 through about 1992, working for Uncle Sam was an exciting and rewarding professional experience. It was fun to go to the office.
Jim married Suzanne Barattini in 1966. She died of cancer in 1990. Together they had a daughter Isabel born in 1974 who graduated from Yale in 1996. "To be on the Old Campus in June 1996 to see Isabel graduate from my Alma Mater, in my hometown, no less, was the thrill of a lifetime," Jim wrote.
In 2005 Jim married Catherine Hirsch, his long-time companion. She is a graduate of Skidmore College, born in New York. Catherine has a long and successful career in banking and continued to work after Jim retired from government service.
Jim was a loyal and devoted alumnus, whose volunteer service to Yale and our class is legendary. As he described in our 50th Reunion Book:
I wanted to give back to Yale as soon as I graduated. I have done so through work for 6Y2 and for the Yale Club of Washington, DC. As an Alumni Fund agent for our class I raised money for Yale (and donated a few dollars as well) and, in 2006-07, I was Co-Chair of YAF 6Y2 agents. I served as our class delegate to the Association of Yale Alumni (2005-2006). At home in Washington I interviewed local high school applicants to Yale for many years and then for ten years I headed the Yale Club of Washington's Alumni Schools Committee (1981-91). In 1991-92 I was the President of the Washington Yale Club. I've worked on mini-reunions.
Jim's commitment and dedication to our class was recognized by his selection as Class Secretary in 2007, for the critical 5 year period leading to our 50th Reunion. He was a superb leader. Once overall goals were agreed upon, he left his chairman and a horde of volunteers to carry out the planning and execution, never micromanaging. He was always a gentleman, kind, understanding and encouraging. Much of the success of our 50th Reunion resulted from his guidance and leadership as Class Secretary.
Jim was a remarkable student of baseball and a life-long Red Sox fan. He saw his first Red Sox game in 1949 at Yankee Stadium. "Giants walked the earth, er, the outfield, Joltin' Joe, Teddy Ballgame. I was hooked and ever since have been hooked on baseball and the Red Sox," he said in a 2004 posting after the Red Sox buried the 86 year "curse". Jim wrote an entertaining and comprehensive survey of baseball literature in April 2007 on the Class Website, "Books on Baseball." It identified and described writings on the game from early years in the 19th century through 2007. Needless to say, this 9 page essay highlights books on the Red Sox as well as references to Yale baseball. For any baseball fan, Jim's piece is fun reading and supplies as good a bibliography as can be found short of Cooperstown. But that was not all. Jim wrote a private blog on the sport called "Baseball Notes" published 8 times per year for a coast-to-coast readership.
Jim used his free time post-retirement well. In addition to baseball and Yale he volunteered his time for Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (now known as Learning Ally).
Jim died unexpectedly from complications of surgery at the Leahy Clinic in Burlington, Mass., sadly less than 6 months after our reunion. He is survived by Catherine, his daughter Isabel Petrikin, her husband Chris, his beloved grandsons Nico, age 4, and Tony, now age 1, whom Jim had not yet met. They reside in Valley Village, a Los Angeles suburb. Jim was also survived by his sister Nancy Harrison, who has since passed away in August 2013.
A Memorial Service has held on November 3, 2012, in Washington to celebrate Jim's life. It was attended by numerous classmates, and his many colleagues and friends.
Jim's unexpected death came as a shock to all, but his closing words at our Class Dinner sustain us still, "To all I say, Happiness and Good Health in all the years to come. Here's wishing all the very best to my classmates and to my beloved Alma Mater."