Bernard T. White

April 22, 1916January 28, 2012

HARWICH, MA- Bernard Thomas White of Harwich, Massachusetts, age 95, died peacefully at his home on Saturday, January 28. Despite being afflicted with Parkinson's for the last few years, Bernard maintained a quiet dignity and a keen interest in current affairs and in the lives of family members and friends. Born in Webster, Massachusetts on April 22, 1916, he was the son of the late John and Mary Ellen White. He graduated from Providence College in 1940. He taught and coached at St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and Bartlett High School in Webster, Massachusetts. In 1942, he entered the Army, where he was Master Sergeant in the 415th Field Artillery, stationed in Newport, Rhode Island. In 1945, he became principal of Maynard (Massachusetts) High School. While working there, he met Mary E. Coleman, a teacher at the school, whom he married in 1950. They settled in Framingham. From 1948 to 1956, he was Assistant Professor of School and College Relations in the Division of Central Admissions at Boston University, visiting high schools throughout New England to administer college admission tests and recruit students. He received his Master’s in Education from Boston University in 1954. He served as Director of Guidance and Associate Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services for the Town of Framingham, overseeing the growth of the student guidance program from 1956 until his retirement in 1979. During his professional career, he taught graduate courses in counseling and school administration at Framingham State College and Boston College. He was elected as the first president of the Massachusetts School Counselors Association in 1960. He also devoted many years of volunteer service on the board of the Framingham Union Hospital School of Nursing. Bernie and Mary were summer visitors to Cape Cod since the 1940s. They bought a cottage in Dennisport in 1965, and built a new home in Harwich in 1980. For twenty years, they spent part of each winter at Isla del Sol in St. Petersburg, Florida. A lifelong golfer, Bernie enjoyed playing challenging courses in Massachusetts and Florida, and was a longtime member of Cranberry Valley Golf Course in Harwich. As an athlete and sports enthusiast, he avidly followed the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots. Bernie sang bass with the Cape Cod Surftones and the barbershop quartet, The Harborside Harmonizers, which also featured Carl Rostek, Bob Norum and Rod MacDonald. His fondest memories included performing for many years as a barbershop quartet at First Night in Chatham and on the Cape Cod Dinner Train, and in the Monomoy Theater production of The Music Man. Bernie lost his wife Mary in 2007 after 57 years of marriage. His sister Elizabeth also predeceased him. His survivors include his daughter Mary Beth Congdon and her husband Bob of Hamden, Connecticut, and a grandson David of Washington, DC. Visiting hours will begin at 9:30 AM on Friday Feb 3rd, 2012 at Doane, Beal & Ames Funeral Home 260 Main St (Rt28) West Harwich, preceding an 11 AM Mass at Holy Trinity Church in West Harwich. The burial will be at 2:30 PM at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod, or to the charity of your choice.


  • Funeral Mass Friday, February 3, 2012
  • Visitation Friday, February 3, 2012
  • Burial Friday, February 3, 2012

Bernard T. White

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February 4, 2012

Bob and I would like to express our sincere sympathy at this time. Bob sang with Bernie with the Surftones, and we met them a few times while they were in Florida. He was just a fine man.
Mary and Bob Reynolds

February 2, 2012

To Mary Beth and family, My Dad (Tom Saunders) and your father were cousins and shared many wonderful memories over the years. I had the pleasure of meeting your father a few times and still recall a memorable night at Clancy's in Dennisport. He and Mary were at a booth and my parents and I stopped to chat. They were both in good spirits and were joking back and forth with each other with such ease. Their smiles were a tribute to the many years they shared together and I was warmed by their genuine relationship. I will keep you and your family members in my thoughts and prayers...may love surround and uplift you all. From, Joanne Saunders (Sandwich, MA)

Joanne Ciaravella

February 1, 2012

Mary Beth: I worked for your Dad for 10 years in the Framingham Public Schools. He hired me for my first real job and I will always be grateful to him for the opportunity. I will remember him as a kind, warm man who was a very effective leader. I feel privileged to have known him. My condolences to you and your family

Dave Reedy

February 1, 2012

Mary Beth: I worked for your Dad for about 19 years in Framingham. He was truly a "gentle" man as well as a wise and witty leader. He and I were fond of each other - sharing friends from time to time. He provided leadership in Framingham when there was little within senior administration. He had a good sense of who he was, where he wanted us to be - available to teachers, parents and students. Course, always, to be sensitive to the politics of local situations. I admired his wit - had breakfast with him a few years ago and we reconnected as if it had not been 30 years! I admired him and know he loved and admired you, your husband and son. Good wishes! He was a man who gave people chances - I benefited from that!

Arthur DelPrete

January 31, 2012

Mary Beth: I was very sorry to hear that your father had passed away.
It was my privilege to work with him in the Framingham Public Schools until his retirement in 1979.He was very helpful to me when I began my administrative career in Framingham and I will always appreciate his kindness to me.
My condolences at this difficult time.

The Staff of Doane Beal & Ames Funeral Home Funeral Service Incorporated

January 30, 2012

We wish to extend our deepest sympathies at this difficult time.