(John David White, aged 70, passed away Dec 22 due to colon cancer. A well- loved member of his family and community, he was born in East Liverpool, Ohio, and grew up in Edgewood, Md. He enlisted in the Army and billeted at the Berlin Wall during the crisis. After leaving the Army John worked exclusively for Washington Gas Company until 1995. He belonged to St Michael's Church in Baden and provided their produce and ran their annual Apple and Flower sales. (This tribute to John David White was written by Scott Rall, his son-in-law, who works as an account executive for the Catholic Standard's advertising sales department.)

John White was a good man, a man you could depend on -- a man of few words but who always lived up to his word. Someone who was as kind and as generous as he was good-natured and hard working. He had a sense of humor that was as deep and as personable as his sense of conviction. If he had any faults, it was his stubborn sort of nature which did not anger you -- rather it endeared you to him.

John wore his heart on his sleeve. He was a gentle man, a kind man, a giving man and above all he was generous to all within his sphere. Years of working with a corporate gas company did nothing to dull his sense of humor or his spirit. He carried out his job day after day with a professional aplomb. And when he retired, he and his wife Pat focused upon his flower and vegetable venture to which he never tired. In fact, John probably worked harder when he retired than he did when he was actually working with the gas company. It seems he always had some business venture he was working on or thinking about.

John White was surrounded by a large family who loved and adored him. A wife, Pat, who loved him as much as he loved her throughout thick and thin, with 47 years of unquestionable love and devotion, through good and bad times. Their dedication and devotion to each other is the stuff of legend and a highly sought after type of relationship by many loving couples, particularly in these troubling times . John always put his wife and family above all else, first and foremost.

I remember, many years ago, asking him for his blessing for his daughter's hand in marriage. Probably like many prospective bridegrooms, I was somewhat intimidated by posing this question to my future father-in-law, but this tall, large man quickly put my mind at ease when he said, "We'd love to have you in our family, I would be more than happy." That is something which I've never forgotten to this day.

John White was also a sentimental and sensitive person. One Christmas, he gave me a small lead toy soldier figure of "Piper Mullins" who to be brief, was at Normandy during the D-Day landings and piped for Lord Lovat when the British advanced into France, a subject that he knew was dear to my heart. What he did not know was that I had met the real Piper before he passed away-making this gesture even more special to me. Almost like he had a sixth sense-I was truly touched by this. We would talk a lot about history and sometimes about his time in the Army guarding the Berlin Wall in the early '60s.

He had his favorite sayings I learned over the years from the family, such as, "All right troops, load, em up," a popular order usually given when the family went camping when all were young. I used to make fun of him when he would sit back in his favorite chair and place his bag of potato chips on his belly, making an easy reach whilst watching his favorite programs, usually golf or his much-loved westerns.

John leaves behind a wonderful creation and mix of family that I have come to cherish, love and admire -- Pat, his wife; and their children, Dave, Dottie, Susan and Karen. He also leaves behind eight grandchildren and one great grandchild who will only be the better for having known this family patriarch as both a benefactor and loving man. So many in his family have benefitted from his unbridled kindness.

In life, you are what you make of yourself and John White was exactly what he gave- a quiet, kind, gentle, caring person that never strayed from his beliefs whether it be his unflinching devotion to his wife or his loving attitude towards his family, whether children or grandchildren and all other relations. John White was truly a man who will be greatly missed by all.