Russell White, Army Veteran, Was an Occupational Therapist at Ypsilanti Regional Psychiatric Hospital


Russell Max White Jr. 85, of Saline, Michigan passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, with his family by his side. Russ was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on November 28, 1934, the only child of Russell Max White Sr, and Irene Eva (Pirkola) White. On July 29, 1961 Russ married his favorite EMU cheerleader, Sandra Ann Koval, and she survives. 

Russ graduated from Dexter High School in 1952. After proudly serving his country in the U.S. Army from 1954-1956, Russ enrolled in the Occupation Therapy program at Eastern Michigan College. He graduated From Eastern Michigan University with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy in 1960, received his O.T. certification in 1961, and his M.A. from EMU in 1970. Russ was employed by the Michigan Department of Mental Health, Ypsilanti Regional Psychiatric Hospital, retiring after 30 years of service in 1991. There he served in many capacities in the Occupational, Industrial, and Activity Therapy department. 

Russ is survived by Sandy, his wife of 59 years; three sons, Bradley of Saline, Brian of Saline, and Brandon (Sophia) of Canton; 11 grandchildren. Lauren (Patrick) Zetterholm, Adriane White, Bailey White, Maxwell White, Sophie White, Alexis White, Kennedy White, Brynn White, Danielle Nelson, Anthony (Brittney) Nelson, and Logan Nelson. He is also survived by his “brother” (in-law) Paul (Barbara) Koval and family, Michaela White, Monica (Finn) Hassing, and extended family Shanea Johnson and Maddox Marlow. 

Russ was preceded in death by his parents Russell White Sr. and Irene White.

Russ enjoyed spending time with his family at his cabin in the woods in Atlanta, Michigan. Through the years Russ was always working on a project, from refinishing his home or cabin, building a new shed, or walking the grounds, maintaining his properties, all while planning his next project. Russ was very patriotic, and had a deep love for his country. Russ enjoyed going out for breakfast and people watching, reading his daily newspapers, doing his crossword puzzles, tending to his tomatoes, and watching and collecting classic movies. Borrowing from his video library was fondly known to family as going to “RussBuster Video”. Russ also loved spending time with his longtime friends from Dexter, and their monthly “card club”.

A Celebration of Life gathering will be held from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Saturday, September 12, 2020, at his home at 1562 Bishop Rd, Saline, Michigan. To comply with COVID rules, this gathering will be held outdoors, and masks, social distancing, and other precautions will be observed. Cremation has taken place, and interment of ashes will be held privately at Washtenong Memorial Park in Ann Arbor.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project. To leave a memory you have of Russ, to sign his guestbook or for more information please visit

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