September 1, 1933 – December 4, 2014
Glenn was known as a Renaissance individual with unbounded curiosity and an extensive variety of friendships, knowledge, capabilities and careers. Following graduation from the University of Washington (Physics), he supervised instrumentation at Boeing Environmental Test Laboratories. As the first Sound Engineer at the Seattle Center, one of his fondest memories was having done sound for the Beatles in 1964. From the Center, he was hired by the Music Department at the UW where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in acoustics, laboratory instrumentation, recording technology and research methods as well as developing design for and installation of sound systems for university buildings. Glenn collaborated with several architects on acoustical design; auditoria resulting from these collaborations include the 1980 renovation of Seattle’s Fifth Avenue Theater, interior renovations at Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Tacoma’s Rialto Theater, Walla Walla University Chapel, Princeton Seminary Chapel and Vassar College. For the last 16 years of his career he was a Field Applications Engineer for engineering companies, including DLI Engineering on Bainbridge Island. He wrote The Audio Dictionary (UW Press); its 3rd edition was co-authored with Gary J. Louie.
Glenn’s love of music, inflamed by Vilem Sokol, and passion for instrumentation led him into recording interests. He recorded the Seattle Youth Symphony concerts for over 20 years and many professional musicians benefited from his expertise. His passion for organs grew into an initial partnership in Olympic Organ Builders with David Dahl, Professor of Music at Pacific Lutheran University and later with James Ludden. He is responsible for designing and installing nineteen organs in PNW—including the one suspended in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on lower Queen Anne, featured during the Organ Historical Society Convention 2009.
Concurrent with his years at the UW, Glenn became passionate about wine. In 1972 he and three friends formed European Vine Selections—one of Seattle’s 1st boutique wine shops, initially located in Fremont—now on Capitol Hill. He was a founding member of the Pacific Northwest Enological Society; the first of its prestigious wine judgings occurred around his dining room table. Glenn loved great Bordeaux and was especially fond of Château Leoville-Las-Cases.
Rarely has earth known a kinder soul who thoroughly enjoyed the five senses God gave man. His wonderful spirit is now free from the limitations imposed by Lewy Body Disease. Previously married to Janet S. Heller White, he is survived by his wife, Carolyn, his sister, Marylyn Graham, her son James and extended family and friends. His parents, Frances and Glenn D. White, are deceased.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, December 18th, at 2:00 p.m. at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral on Capitol Hill 1245 10th Ave. E. A reception with time to reminisce will follow. Memories can be posted online at http://funerals.coop/ In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to:
Glenn D. White Scholarship Fund in Physics
University of Washington
Office of Gift Processing
Seattle, WA 98195-9505
Cathedral Foundation of the Diocese of Olympia
1551 10th Ave E.
Seattle, WA 98102
Pipe Organs designed and/or installed by Glenn D. White
Pre-Olympic Organ Builders (before 1961)
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Seattle, WA. Spaeth, 2 man.
Olympic Organ Builders (representing Bosch and Kleuker organs), in partnership with David Dahl)
Mountain View Lutheran Church, Puyallup, WA. Bosch 2 man.
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Portland, OR. Bosch 3 man
Lutheran Church, Le Grand, OR, Bosch 2 man.
Grace Lutheran Church, Wenatchee, WA. Bosch 2 man.
Messiah Lutheran Church, Spokane, WA. Bosch 2 man.
First Lutheran, Richmond Beach, WA. Kleuker 2 man
St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church, Beaverton, OR. Kleuker 2 man (now expanded with Rodgers electronic stops, 3 man.)
John Knox Presbyterian Church, Burien, WA. Bosch 2 man. (now in Texas)
Catholic Church, Burien, WA. Bosch 2 man. (now at University Methodist Temple, Seattle, WA.)
William Hurt residence, Seattle, Bosch 2 man. (now at St. Mark’s Cathedral)
Organs from the Olympic Organ Builders (Organs built in Seattle)
Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Puyallup. 1 man.
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, (three practice organs) 2 man.
Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma (practice organ) 2 man.
David Dahl residence, Tacoma (now at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Port Townsend, WA. 2 man.)
University Unitarian Church, Seattle, WA. 2 man.
St. Stephens Episcopal Church, Longview, WA. 2 man.
St. Madeleine-Sophie RC Church, Bellevue, WA. 1 man.
Two 2 stop portative organs (co-designed with James Ludden) 1 man.
(One in Berlin, N.H., one in Dallas, TX.)
Glenn made my life bigger...just like he did for everyone. Some key memories in which I lived life large because of him include simple things like hearing how he befriended Julia Child when he was the sound man at the Seattle Center and they had to build everything up for her 6 inches because she was so tall ... and telling this story while he was cooking me her special quiche recipe she taught him (I still have the recipe he gave me that day). How about all the nights we crammed into the basement and watched old B movies with his crazy movie projector set up? I bet there are other people too, who can describe splicing and re-splicing recording tape in his office hour after hour as part of crazy psychoacoustics projects we were working on and Glenn encouraged us to do. One of my most treasured possessions is a photograph that Glenn took of Stravinsky conducting Histoire du Soldat at the Seattle Opera. I just looked again at the cherished words he had written to me on the back...who has been lucky enough to have a friend such as Glenn? One time right after Glenn had helped with the remodel of the 5th Avenue he took me to the matinee of Annie or some musical except that we watched it from way above the stage up in the rafters ... yep, life lived large with Glenn. I love you, wonderful human and buddy....and I hope you are rebuilding a harpsichord while drinking some great wine wherever you are. --Jeanine St. Laurent Butler
Glenn served as the acoustician for the design of the Vagrant Records recording studio at 5512 University Way N.E. At the time he was retired, and took on the task partly as a challenge and partly to help the aspiring young owner/engineer get started in business. He did an outstanding job: the studio is superb for making recordings. He was very nice to work with and he spent many more hours on the project than his billing. -J.G. Bader