Letter: Chief steward Ken White ‘had a real zest for life’

Saddened to record the loss of a good friend.
Saddened to record the loss of a good friend.

I am saddened to record the loss of a good friend Ken White who passed away at home on Saturday, July 8, after a long illness. In December he was admitted to hospital for tests. Unfortunately, despite a brief respite, his condition continued to deteriorate.

Ken White was born in ‘Old Goole’ on March 29, 1929.

After schooling his first employment was with the dockyard railway in the port until an opportunity arose for a permanent position with the Post Office where he continued until his retirement.

His ambition to join the Royal Air Force was sadly never realised but his love, enthusiasm and knowledge of aviation was second to none.

Ken had a particular interest in anything to do with aviation in Yorkshire and this led him to become involved as a volunteer with the air museum at Elvington, near York.

It was quickly apparent that Ken had a genuine rapport with his fellow volunteers, especially the many stewards who selflessly managed museum visitors and the spectacular events that were once part of the museum’s endeavour. Appointed chief steward in 2001, Ken held this responsible post for several years during which his cheery face and devotion to the wellbeing of others played a major part in gaining the museum the reputation it had with visitors from home and abroad.

After being ‘retired’ by the museum, Ken remained in touch with fellow volunteers who worked with him and many other individuals with whom he became acquainted during their visits.

Several of these were former, senior members of UK and foreign armed forces; along with curators and volunteer staff of other aviation museums as far afield as Canada, the US and even Australia. Ken was one of life’s true gentlemen. He had a zest for life and a great love for his family and close friends and in common with them, I am richer for the privilege of knowing him.

Ian Dewar

Thompson Drive

Middleton on the Wolds