Stephen Joseph White of Ipswich, formerly of Rowley, passed away on July 10 of complications from Alzheimer’s. He was born on October 2, 1941, in Lynn, the only child of Leo and Mayme (Nicholson) White, and grew up in Malden. After graduating from Malden High School and East Coast Aero Tech, he worked as a truck driver for Sunoco and a meter reader for Massachusetts Electric prior to becoming an entrepreneur. He married Nancy Peavey on September 12, 1964 in Malden; the couple moved to Rowley shortly thereafter. They opened Country Driving School in 1968, educating thousands of youth at their office in Newburyport and four satellite locations at local high schools. Mr. White is remembered for his “car in the classroom” lectures, his calming demeanor and his firm foot on the passenger side brake of his drivers’ education cars. He was a past president of the Professional Driving School Association of Massachusetts. The couple also owned gas stations in Newburyport and commercial and residential property prior to retirement in 2015. While driver education was Steve’s vocation, his passion was town politics. He was elected to the Rowley Municipal Light Board in 1965 and served until 2006, much of the time as chair of the board. During those years, at various times, he also served on the town’s Select Board, Planning Board, Board of Health and the Triton Regional School Committee. He considered the expansion of Rowley’s tax base through controlled development of commercial properties on Route 1 to be one of his greatest contributions to the community. Steve retired from politics in 2006 when he and Nancy bought their dream home in Ipswich. Steve had a passion for cars and a great mechanical ability, which he shared with his sons. His toolbox was the envy of many. He was also a master of the snowplow.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy (Peavey) White; their two sons, Stephen J. White II and wife Jane; and Timothy M. White and wife Joanna, all of Rowley. Beloved Grampy of Caitlin, Thomas, Maeve, Adam and Charles White, also all of Rowley. He will also be missed by his brothers-in-law and their wives: Brian and Mary Peavey of Lynnfield; Joanne Peavey of Haverhill; Sue Peavey of Lynnfield ; Gerald Peavey and Carol Rankin of Melrose; and Daniel and Donna Peavey of Stockbridge, Georgia; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers-in-law, Robert Peavey and Charles Peavey.
Family and friends are cordially invited to his visitation on Monday, July 13th from 5 to 7pm in the Conte - Giamberardino Funeral Home, 14 Pleasant Street, Georgetown. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated privately for the family at the Immaculate Conception Church, 42 Green Street, Newburyport, with burial to follow at Puritan Lawn Memorial Park in Peabody. For those who wish, Stephen may be remembered through donations to the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org. For funeral home directions, florists or to share a memory of Stephen with his family, please visit www.cgfuneralhomegeorgetown.com
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