Burton David White, 1930-2021


Burton White, of Tigard, a retired union official, labor educator, and mediator, passed away Feb. 14 of complications following a stroke. He was 90.

White was director of labor relations for the Oregon Nurses Association from 1979 to 1985. Prior to that, from 1969-75, he was director of economic and general welfare for the California Nurses Association.

He started working as an arbitrator and mediator in 1988. He was the first executive director of Partners in Construction Cooperation (PICC), a “cooperation committee” in the construction industry that included workers, contractors, financiers, and designers. Its first project in 1988 was the Powell Valley Retirement Center in Gresham.

White was active in the Oregon Chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA). He served as president of the organization in 1996-97 and in 2015 received a Lifetime Achievement Award at their annual “Maggies” presentation.

White also served as adjunct faculty at the University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center (LERC).

Burton David White was born Sept. 19, 1930 in Malden, Mass., to Louis White and Sara (Rosenberg) White. After graduating from Malden High School he served in the U.S. Army. He received both his BA and MA from Boston University. White attended UC Berkeley to study for a Ph.D. in Middle English. There, he joined the Public Affairs staff of Berkeley’s listener-sponsored radio station KPFA, covering the 1964 Free Speech Movement for the station. He was chapter chair of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians Local 51.

In lieu of flowers or cards, donations may be made to his favorite park, the Summerlake Dog Park, City of Tigard, 13125 S.W. Hall Blvd., Tigard, OR 97223. A memorial service will be held in the Fall 2021 by his family in the Boston area.


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