Harlan White, a long-time resident of Broken Arrow, passed away February 2, 2020, at the Claremore Veteran’s Center. He was 94.
Born December 4, 1925, in the agricultural community of Chanute, Kansas, Harlan was the youngest son of Martin and Emily White. He was welcomed by an older brother, Wallace, and received his education in the Wilson County school system - a one-room schoolhouse called “44 School House”.
The 44 School House also served as the community center and was a significant location for the White family. It was there, several years prior to Harlan’s birth, that his parents met. It was also there where Harlan met his long-time friend, Roy, and where the two masterminded many-a-prank which included disassembling wagons and outhouses and reassembling them on top of barns. Halloween was also a rich time for these two and a time to engage in plenty more shenanigans.
Harlan enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1944 and served aboard the USS Alabama. His special training was artillery while fighting in WWII, Japan. (This certainly proved his neighbors wrong who told Harlan he was not man enough for the Marines).
Following his military service, Harlan met his future bride, Betty Doane, at a roller-skating rink in Fredonia, Kansas. The couple married in a quiet ceremony which began their 69-year marriage. Together, they raised three children and shared lots of life, love, and happiness.
Harlan and Betty confessed their faith in Christ and they subsequently began a career in ministry. They remained scholars throughout their 42 years of ministry in Kansas City, St. Joseph, Topeka, and Hutchison, Kansas. Since retiring in 1999, the White’s made their home in Broken Arrow and were members of The Assembly Church. (Betty passed away January 1, 2018).
Harlan’s life centered around faith and family. An early influence, driving home these attributes, was that of seeing his father kneeling in prayer at the fence posts on their family farm. Later in life, Harlan would have a heart for missions, often inviting missionary families or ministers as guests in the home. He also followed world events and leaders. Harlan had a rare quality of grace and peace that impacted all who knew him. Harlan was truly a man after God’s own heart.
He is survived by two daughters; six grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. In addition to his wife, Betty, he is preceded in death by his son, Harlan D. White.