Obituary: Eric J. White – Portland Press Herald


Eric J. White

Eric J. White 1954 – 2022 WOONSOCKET, RI – A Down East guy living in the Ocean State, a teddy bear-handed firefighter, a man who could lift 1000 pounds, and a gentle soul who lived for others, all of these and many more can only scratch the surface to describe Eric White. Eric J. White, 67, of Woonsocket, RI passed away on Sunday, January 16, 2022. He was the beloved husband of Lenore M. Rheaume. Eric and Lenore have been together for 30 years. Born July 27, 1954 and raised in Brunswick, Eric was the son of the late Warren and Eunice (Perry) White. He was a great-grandson of Commodore Perry from the earliest days of American history. Eric was a graduate of Brunswick High School class of 1973 where he was a star football player as a forward receiver. Eric earned an associate’s degree from Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute in South Portland in Applied Science and Fire Safety. He also earned an associate’s degree in travel and tourism from Portland. He was a first responder emergency medical technician and certified in CPR. After high school, Eric served his country as a U.S. Army Ranger and received the Bronze Star. Eric was proud of his service but he tended to be reserved about his exploits. Eric’s career as a firefighter was spent with the Brunswick Naval Air Station Fire Department. He was then posted to Greece at US military bases there as a firefighter in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Still the humble hero Eric has been credited with saving many lives over the of her career. In the 1980s he was a catalog model for LLBean of Maine, Sears Roebuck and JC Penny. The sport of bodybuilding has occupied a large part of Eric’s life and he has been a bodybuilding enthusiast throughout his life. Eric was an award-winning bodybuilder. He received the “Mr. Maine” and “Mr. Northeast Regional and National Bodybuilding Awards as well as many other awards. Eric held the world record for the deadlift at 911 pounds. Eric was also a boxer in his youth and studied and practiced Tae Kwan Do. Eric has made Woonsocket, RI his home since 2003. He worked locally at Home Depot in Smithfield and later at Wal-Mart stores in North Smithfield. in Maine, Eric ran a business aptly called “It’s a Grave Experience” operating as a gravedigger and caretaker for a number of cemeteries in his hometown of Brunswick. Eric also ran a Hallmark store with Lenore in Skowhegan. As an adult, Eric was received into the Catholic Church. He was a longtime volunteer for Precious Blood Parish and in recent years has been active in transforming the Precious Blood Rectory into its future uses. over there he doesn’t speak much French, Eric was present at the meetings and receptions of the Club Richelieu and the Club Aram Pothier. Eric will be remembered for his joyful and easy-going outlook on life. He has never met a stranger. The old-time folk wisdom of “Down East Maine” did not escape Eric. He knew exactly what to say, when to say it, and when to leave it alone. Eric gave of himself generously whatever the circumstances. He gave up everything he did and lent a helping hand to anyone who needed it. Eric truly helped make the world a better place and those who were lucky enough to know him will forever be blessed with his friendship. In addition to his beloved wife Lenore, Eric is survived by his brothers Philip and Richard White and his sister, Gail Bernier and her husband George; and his nephew Anthony, all from Maine. He was the brother of the late James White. Eric is also survived by Lenore’s family which he considered his own. His mother-in-law, Trudy Lamoureux of Woonsocket, RI; and her sister-in-law Yvette Lazdowski and her husband Edward, her niece Emily and her nephews Edward and Evan Lazdowski of New Hampshire. He was the son-in-law of the late Pete Rheaume and Dr. Gerald Lamoureux, MD. His funeral took place on Thursday, January 27 at 9 a.m. at the Ménard-Lacouture funeral home, 127 Carrington Avenue. after mass. The burial was private. Visiting hours were Wednesday, January 26 from 4-7 p.m.

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