C. Thomas White
October 5, 1928 – December 11, 2020
Thomas White was born in Humphrey, Nebraska on October 5, 1928, to John Ambrose and Margaret Costello White. His mother, Margaret, passed away when Tom was nine years of age. Following his graduation from St. Francis High School in 1946, Tom enlisted in the Army. He was honorably discharged in 1947. He returned from Japan and graduated first in his 1952 class from the Creighton School of Law where he was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society.
Tom married Shirley Ann Malloy in 1953 and their three children, Michaela, Thomas, and Patrick, were raised in Columbus Nebraska. He was elected Platte County Attorney in 1955 and served in that role until he was appointed by then-Governor Frank Morrison as the sole District Judge for the 21st Judicial District of Nebraska in 1965. His wife Shirley passed away in 1970.
Tom married Joan Jiranek in 1971. In 1976 then-Governor J. James Exon appointed him as an Associate Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court, at which time he moved to Lincoln with Joan and Patrick, with Michaela and Tom already headed towards legal careers of their own. Joan passed away in 1991. He married Lyn Ferer in 1994.
In 1995 he was appointed to serve as Chief Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court by then-Governor E. Benjamin Nelson, and he served in that capacity until 1998, when he retired from the bench and joined his son, Tom, in private practice in Omaha. He continued to practice until his death.
He was affectionately known as “Chief.”
Tom loved to travel and visited his favorite country, Ireland, numerous times with family and long-time friends, Bill and Betty Grant. He travelled frequently, including trips to Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, and Hawai’i.
Most of all Tom loved spending time with his immediate and extended family. He made every effort to attend the special occasions celebrated by his children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. He faithfully and enthusiastically attended his grandchildren’s sports events (soccer, basketball, football, wrestling, track, and horse shows), concerts, recitals, and academic events.
Tom was an avid Creighton Bluejay basketball fan. Michaela, Tom, and Patrick remember coming from Columbus to Omaha as children to attend many Bluejay basketball games, and he was a regular attendee at Creighton home games after he moved to Omaha in 1998.
He was an avid reader all of his life and could recite his many favorite poems from memory until the day he passed away.
Throughout his long life he was dedicated to his God, his profession, his friends, and most of all his family, particularly his grandchildren—Logan, Adrienne, Reilly, and Aaron—all of whom he was extremely proud.
He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by daughter, Michaela White (Albert Macchietto); sons, Thomas White (Barbara) and Patrick White (Jennifer); grandchildren: Logan White, Reilly White, Adrienne Schleisman (Thomas) and Aaron Macchietto; sister in- law, Darlene White; former wife and close friend, Lyn White; many beloved nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
He was preceded in death by parents, John and Margaret White; first wife, Shirley; second wife, Joan; brothers: Jim White, John “Jack” White, Leo White, Raymond White (Pat), Edward White, and infant brother, Francis White; sister, Mary Kathleen Gehr.
VISITATION observing CDC guidelines: Friday, December 18th from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, with VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, December 19th at 10am at St. John Catholic Church at Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza. Family Interment: Calvary Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to St. Francis Church in Humphrey, NE, and Creighton University School of Law.
To view live broadcasts of the Vigil Service and Mass, go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Service” button on the home page.