Eight Bells: Brad White
Published on November 1st, 2022
Bradford J. White, 64, of Essex, passed away from cancer October 15, 2022 at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was the beloved husband of Janet (Perkins) White. Born in Boston, he was the son of William B. White and the late Jane (Jackson) White.
Brad was raised in Cohasset and graduated from Boston University in 1980 where was a member of the sailing team. He was the team captain during 1979 and 1980, MVP, and Collegiate All American. After college he continued to sail and maintain friendships with his teammates for the following 42 years.
Brad’s racing victories included the 110 National Championship, six Interclub Dinghy Nationals, the Mallory Cup and the US Men’s Sailing Championship. He had a variety of racing experience from local New England PHRF races to regattas on the West Coast, Europe, and offshore. Notably Block Island Race Week, Newport Bermuda Race, Marblehead Halifax Race, Kenwood Cup, Chicago Mackinac Race, Key West Race Week, and Big Boat series.
He worked in the sailmaking industry since 1983 and helped found and then worked at North Sails Salem for over 27 years. He was known for his informative and entertaining talks that he gave at local yacht clubs. In 2000, when his children came of age, he helped establish the Essex Bay Sailing Club.
In recent years, he loved cruising and racing his rebuilt Pearson 33-2 Chinook in the local thirsty Thursday series and annual Dion’s Cup with his friends. His penchant for winning races was replaced with a thorough enjoyment of teaching others to sail, as well as “wafting the fleet” with the smell of hamburgers on the grill while racing. He especially enjoyed sailing with family on Chinook.
Through the years, Brad also brought many people together with his love for the outdoors. He would organize hiking and camping trips for friends and family. As a Mountain Host at Attitash Mountain, he orchestrated the “19th Run” to gather the group.
His greatest joy in the mountains was leading his kids up Tuckerman’s Ravine, carrying their skis for their first few trips. Then they’d return to his happy place at his family’s rustic “camp” in Jackson, NH. Most recently he enjoyed walking in the local woods with his daughter’s dog Blueberry.
He took pride and joy in being a father, coaching his kids through life, and showing them how to live it to the fullest, always with enthusiasm and a warm smile. His life lessons continue daily such as, be kind, be curious, and at the end of the day, have fun. His children will be gratefully unwrapping his life lessons for years to come. Just weeks ago Brad was in his true element at his son’s wedding surrounded by family and friends.
In addition to his father and his wife Janet, with whom he shared nearly 36 years of marriage, he is survived by his son, Benjamin Perkins White and his wife Mallory of Draper, UT; his daughter, Elizabeth Oldson White of Essex, MA; a step mother, Sandra Coffin White of Sugar Hill, NH; two sisters, Melyn Robinson and her husband Fraser of England and Abigail Thomas and her husband Bill of Culebra, PR; two brothers, William White and his wife Pam of Merritt Island, FL and Andrew White and his wife Tracy of Thornton, NH; a sister and brother-in-law Pam and Dave Kipp of Newburyport, a mother-in-law, Phyllis Perkins of Wenham and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of his Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Brad’s name may be made to the Essex Bay Sailing Club, PO Box 141, Essex, MA 01929 or to Sail Salem, Inc., 23 Glendale Street, Salem, MA 01970. Online condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.