Mervin F. White

  • Born: January 29, 1935
  • Died: April 11, 2021
  • Location: Clemson, South Carolina

Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory

108 Cross Creek Road
Central, SC 29630
Tel. (864) 639-2411

Tribute & Message From The Family

Mervin Forrest White, 86, passed away Sunday, April 11, 2021 at the Cottingham Hospice House after battling pancreatic cancer.

Born in Highland Home, Alabama, he was the son of the late Orden and Elma Lee Ward White.

Mervin served in the Air Force in the 7th Air Police Squadron. He earned a Bachelor's and Masters from BYU and a PhD from the University of Kentucky. As a professor he taught Sociology at Washington State University and Clemson University, eventually retiring from Clemson University. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, serving in many leadership positions. One of his passions was counselling people without charge, which he did until his death.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Bishop White and his sisters Irene Stewart and Stella Gillion.

Mervin is survived by his daughter Kristen (Matthew) Walters and his sisters, Lucille (Arvile) Kelley, Doris Arensmeyer and Wilonese (Terry) Lowe and his grandchildren, Hannah, Maerin, Kelsey and Liam Walters and Haley Sammons.

Funeral Services will be held at 11am Friday, April 16, 2021 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Seneca, SC. Covid-19 protocols will be in place. Please wear a mask.

The family will receive friends Thursday, April 15 from 6 to 7:30pm at Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, 108 Cross Creek Rd., Central, SC.

A Graveside service will be held at 1pm Monday, April 19, 2021 at Sardis Cemetery in Highland Home, Alabama.

The Family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the wonderful caregivers at Prisma Health Hospice of the Foothills/Cottingham House for the amazing love and care for Mervin.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Prisma Health Hospice of the Foothills, 390 Keowee School Rd. Seneca, SC 29672 or charity of your choice.

Click the play button in the video player below to watch the service.

Please visit or Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, Central – Clemson Commons.


Condolence & Memory Journal

My sympathy to the family on the loss of an amazing man. Merv counseled me as an undergraduate sociology student at WSU and was a great influence in my continuation in the field. After WSU, I met up with him once in Atlanta at the annual sociology meeting. It was wonderful to see him, he was such an important mentor and friend. I wish I had kept up with him and let him know that I completed my doctorate in sociology and of his importance in my career and life. Polly Phipps

Posted by Polly Phipps - School   November 18, 2021

Merv was my colleague in Clemson's Sociology Department when I first arrived in 1988 until his retirement. He was always supportive, kind, helpful, and easy-mannered in every interaction I ever witnessed. He will be missed here but welcomed into Eternity.

Posted by Mike Coggeshall - Clemson, SC - Coworker   April 19, 2021

My heartfelt condolences to Dr. White's family. He is remembered fondly at Clemson. He was both a wonderful teacher and my sociology advisor. We are so sorry for your loss and hope that memories of him bring a smile during this most difficult time.

Posted by Laurie Haughey - Clemson, SC - Student   April 17, 2021

Merv White was a highly respected, trusted, and helpful colleague, mentor, and teacher. My sincere condolences to his family and communities.

Posted by Brenda Vander Mey - Pendleton, SC - Coworker   April 17, 2021

Your guidance and wisdom have carried me far beyond what you will ever know. I am forever grateful for you. May you fly high, Brother White!

Posted by Jill Stevens - Acworth, GA - Friend   April 15, 2021


I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this sad time. It was an honor getting to know Merv.

Posted by Patricia Holcombe - Seneca, SC - Acquaintance   April 14, 2021

We worked (in the church) around and with Merv for years. Towards the end of our time in SC, we were able to see him and be with him up close, and personal. He was a wonderful man, with a kind, compassionate heart and a quick sense of humor. We remember him (and Barb) with great fondness, and send our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends, who will miss him dearly.

Posted by Mike & Kelly Thompson - Layton, UT - Family Friend   April 14, 2021

So sorry for ur loss I'm sure he'll be missed I don't remember him very well but do remember some of the family. Due to covid I probly want make it to the funeral. But just know that I loved the family. I'm the only one left in James Henry and Bertie kids.

Posted by Ralph Ward - samson, AL - Family   April 14, 2021

When Elise and I moved from the west to Clemson 25 years ago, Mervin was first person to greet us. We were friends immediately. We always felt his love and concern for us. We loved him so much! He will be missed! Our prayers and thoughts are with his entire family. Wishing you the Lord's blessings!

Posted by John Hansen - Greenville, SC - friend   April 14, 2021

What a wonderful example of following Christ. He was so very kind to everyone and always helped whenever he could. Loved him.

Posted by Annette Bayne    April 14, 2021

President White, you will be missed. Much love and prayers for the Walters.

Posted by Ragan Besendorfer - Seneca, SC - Family   April 13, 2021

You will always be remembered, lovingly, by many as President White. It has been a great blessing and privilege to call you friend. You were a great example of the true meaning of Service. We know that your service will not end with your passing from this life to a new one where there will be greater callings waiting for you. We will always smile whenever we hear your name and we know that we will not be the only ones.

Posted by Ed and Sandy Stahlnecker - Greenville, SC - Friend   April 13, 2021

Love You soooo much Merv❣
You will be sorely missed.

Posted by Kathleen Wride - Seneca, SC - Family Friend   April 13, 2021

And he shall be called Wonderful, Counselor. Brother White was special to all who knew him, and Brenda and I were blessed to have known him. Our prayers are with those who mourn his passing.

Posted by Tom & Brenda WAshington - Honea Path, SC - Friend   April 13, 2021

My friend, President White: you will be missed by so many . I enjoyed serving with you throughout the years in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and always looked forward to your smiles and positive attitude. You are a man of great influence and a man of deep caring for many. God bless you and your family.

Posted by Lawrence Wahrer - Travelers Rest, SC - friend   April 13, 2021

Our family are sincerely going to miss this wonderful man! He has always shown his compassion and love for us from days as a Clemson student and through the years! His wisdom and insight which he shared affects our daily lives for the better. We pray you all may feel the comfort of knowing families are forever and he adored his family! Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by Andrea White - Hodges, SC - Friend   April 13, 2021

President White was a wonderful friend to our family! His infectious smile, which always welcomed me into his office at Clemson, at any time, always made me feel like I was with an old friend. Throughout the years, he has continued to be a guiding light with his friendship and professional guidance. So many of the things he has taught me are a piece of my daily life. He will be missed! Until we meet again, dear friend! We love you!

Posted by Andrea White - Hodges, SC - friend   April 13, 2021

Dr. Mervin, former high school classmate, was a great person. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Posted by Pete and Totty Tucker - Columbus, GA - Friend   April 12, 2021

I will miss Mervin....He was one of a kind..Fly high my friend
Hospice Dietary

Posted by Regina Sanders - Westminster, SC   April 12, 2021

Family Album