Van Marshall White

02/19/1935 – 12/08/2018

Obituary for Van Marshall White

Husband, Dad, Papa, friend, life of the party, Van Marshall White was many things to many people. He made his presence known in this world on February 19, 1935, to Marshall and Mallie Opal White and began his final rest on December 8, 2018.  

As noted on his report card by his second grade teacher, “Van has problems sitting still and being quiet.” These are words he lived by as he was tirelessly active in Sedalia for more than six decades. From coaching his daughters’ softball teams to volunteering countless hours as a Shriner, Van made his community better in so many impactful ways. According to him, however, his greatest civic honor was playing “Taps” for hundreds of fellow Veterans since he was 16 years old.

Shirley, his sensible wife of 64 years, is credited with keeping him alive much longer than his daredevil stunts would’ve allowed him. All of his brave motorcycle passengers with exhaust burns on their legs from jumping ditches involuntarily on his bike can attest to this. Bringing home a pair of unicycles to teach his son how to ride, but really to instill a sense of adventure and mischief, captured the essence of his fearless personality.

A lifelong resident of Sedalia, Van graduated from Smith Cotton in 1953. He soon joined the Army in 1954 and retired from the National Guard as a Sergeant Major in 1981. His civilian career began with the railroad and he retired from the IBEW #124. However, he enjoyed his time best on the golf course, favorably adjusting his score.

Being involved as a Shriner, Master Mason and member of First Christian Church was near and dear to his heart. With his constant involvement in these organizations, Van left this earth never knowing a stranger.

Van patiently waits to be reunited with his wife, Shirley, daughters Cynthia Lyon (Dennis) and Tonya Borland (Matt), his son Byron White (Danielle), five grandchildren-Dana Crawford, Patrick Crawford, Julie Seiz, Cassandra White, and Aaron White, four great-grandchildren, and a nephew, John Anderson, who was more like a brother.  He is excitedly greeted at Heaven’s gates not only by his parents, but also his beloved sister and brother-in-law, Lucille and Sam Anderson.

Flowers are beautiful, but serve no purpose after they wither. Van would’ve wanted something more purposeful to honor him. To do so, the family strongly encourages donations to The Shriners Hospital, First Christian Church or The Veterans Home in Warrensburg. Van would’ve loved that good deeds are continuing after his time on earth.

Memorial Service will be held at First Christian Church at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 17. The visitation will be held one hour before the service. Entombment will be held at the Veterans Cemetery in Higginsville at 2:00 p.m.

Arrangements under the direction of Rea Funeral Chapel, Sedalia, Missouri.

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Van was one of the best! Sorry for your loss!
– Jennie Guerrini
I have many great memories associated with our years on the VFW Honors Team. He was one of a kind. It will be an honor to be part of the team as we give him his final farewell on Monday
– Ron Wineinger
Peace be with your family during this difficult time.
– Jancey
Van was such a wonderful man. I never saw him without a smile. My most sincere condolences to his family. May he continue dancing in heaven.
– Linda Noble
My deepest sympathy to the whole family. As someone who knew Van starting in high school, I can verify that all statements in the obituary are true! We often went frog hunting together, and one time, we came home at 2:00 in the morning, and tried to divide up the frogs in my front yard. Unfortunately, the frogs were still alive and they all had a different idea – as we dumped them out of a gunny sack, they started jumping all over the yard and we starting chasing them. Pretty soon, every porchlight in the neighborhood was on and all the neighbors were watching to see what was going on. They probably didn’t believe we were just innocently catching frogs! Jack Shelledy
– Jack Shelledy
My heart goes out to you all.
– Missi Knight

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