Col. Donald J. White, USAF

Col. Donald J. White, USAF

Class of 1975

DONALD J. WHITE Colonel, USAF (Ret.) A resident of Washington, DC and Terra Alta, West Virginia, passed away on November 30, 2016. Col. White was the son of Charlie White, Jeffersonville, Indiana and the late Darlene Zimmer Threatte, Westminster, Maryland, formerly of Prince George's County, Maryland.

Col. White is survived by his wife, Karen Moore White; sisters, Susan Hood and husband, John, Charlene White, and Sharon White Kirkpatrick. Col. White was a loving father to his daughters, Emily Oakley and her husband, Mike, Morgan Garzini and her husband, Robert, Sarah Cornell and her husband, Jonathan, and his step daughter, Mary-Margaret Chaffee. He is also survived by grandsons, nieces, nephews, great-nephews, and a great niece.

Col. White was a 1971 graduate of Bishop McNamara High School. He then attended Frostburg State College graduating with honors in 1975. He was later inducted into the Bobcat Hall of Fame for his four-year football achievements. While at Frostburg, he also lettered in wrestling. He was a member of Sigma Tau Gamma Men's National Social Fraternity serving as president of his fraternity for two terms and continued his fraternal relationship as an active member of Sigma Tau Gamma, Beta Pi Alumni Association.

He was currently working on Medal of Honor Captain James H. Graham Memorial Project at the time of his passing. Col. White received his Master's Degree of Physiology from Kent State University in 1978.

Col. White entered the Air Force by direct commission in 1984 and completed the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine Aerospace Physiology officer training course in 1984. He was a High Altitude Low Opening and Static Line Master Parachutist with over 4,500 parachute deployments. As a human factors and human performance consultant, he participated on 14 Class A Safety Investigation Boards, two Accident Investigation Boards, and 4 Medical Incident Investigation Boards. He was also selected as a human factors, crew survivability, and life science investigator for the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. Col. White was inducted into the USAF Safety Hall of Fame in June 2012. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Laurel Clark Crew Survival Foundation and had served as the Human Performance Integration, Human Factor Engineering and Crew Survivability Consultant for Paragon Space Development Corporation's Independent Review Board for the StratEx mission. He was also a Human Factors and Human Performance Integration Consultant for the STRATOS Red Bull mission. He served five years as the BSC Associate Corps Chief for Aerospace and Operational Physiology and had served as President of AsMA's Life Science and Biomedical Engineering Branch; Chairman, Board of Directors, for the Society of Human Performance in Extreme Environments; Past Chair of the Aerospace Medical Association Associate Fellows Group; past President of the Aerospace Physiology Society; past Chair of the AsMA Human Factors Committee; and had been serving as the President of the Aerospace Human Factors Association. He was a Fellow of the Aerospace Human Factors Association, the Royal Aeronautical Society, London, and the Aerospace Medical Association. Col. White's decorations and awards include the Walter and Sylvia Goldenrath Award in 2015, the John Ernsting Award in 2013, and the Harry G. Moseley Award in 2005 from the Aerospace Medical Association, the Fred A. Hitchcock Award for Excellence in Aerospace Physiology in 2008 and the Wiley Post Award for Operational Physiology in 1998 from the Aerospace Physiology Society, the NASA Group Achievement Award from the Columbia Accident Investigation Board in 2003, USAF Aerospace Physiologist of the Year and ACC Aerospace Physiologist of the Year in 1998, ACC Aerospace Physiologist of the Year in 1996, and AFMC Aerospace Physiologist of the Year in 1995. He was a member of the Interagency Institute for Federal Health Care Executives, and was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine/Biometrics at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD, until his retirement in 2012. 

Col. White was an active contributor to a variety of professional journals,a consultant,a mentor, and an advisor within the aerospace community, as well as the Frostburg State University community. After his retirement, Colonel White was an assistant football coach at Kingsman Academy Public Charter School and the King Greenleaf Recreation Center, both in Washington, DC.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to The Capt, James A. Graham Memorial Project, in care of Sigma Tau Gamma, Beta Pi Alumni Association, POB 242, Boyds, Maryland 20841.