Donald O.H. White, 87, of Keokuk, passed away at 11:14 AM, Friday, April 29, 2016, at his home.
Donald was born June 24, 1928, in Monmouth, Illinois, the son of Eugene and Vera Dorothy White. He was united in marriage to Verna Derr on September 18, 1950, in Quincy, Illinois. Verna preceded him in death on November 30, 2015. Don had lived in the Keokuk and Powdertown area since he was 4 years old. He served in the United States Army. Don was a professional race car driver. His career started on dirt tracks in Cedar Rapids. He also raced on sand at Daytona Beach and held the speed record at Daytona Beach before the big track. Don White was the first Keokuk race car driver to have an effect racing on the national scene. He began in the IMCA in 1949 and won titles in 1954, 1955 and 1958. He moved on to the United States Auto Club (USAC) where he won titles in 1963 and 1967. He had the most wins in USAC history and was selected for the USAC Hall of Fame in 2013. Don had eleven seasons in a row where he finished in the top five in points, including eight seasons in a row when he finished in the top three. During a four-year-stretch between 1966 and 1969, Don won 32 races and finished second sixteen times in eighty-two starts. He finished his racing career in 1986.
Don is survived by three daughters, Barbara Mae Barnes of Keokuk, Kathy Jo (Charles) Cole of Slater, Iowa, and Linda Sue (Richard) Mulholland of Mt. Vernon, Iowa and two sons, Johnny Lee (Carolyn) Kite of Cantril, Iowa and William Ernest (Mary Schneider) Kite of Keokuk; two sisters-in-law Virginia LeMatty and Marianna Derr. He is also survived by grandchildren, Gina Parrish, Erin Schnur, Jason, Kara, Jordan, and Josh Barnes, Tice Cole, Kelly Krause, Rossilyn Babington, Lucas Mulholland, Vicki and Mick Kite, Chris and Joe Kite, Carrie Fekete, and Amy Benson; thirty-five great grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In addition to his parents and his wife Verna, he was preceded in death by a son Gary White, one brother, two sisters, and brothers and sisters-in-law.
A service celebrating his life will be at 10:30 AM Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at DeJong-Greaves Celebration of Life Centers at 917 Blondeau in Keokuk. Burial with full military rites will follow in Montrose Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 Tuesday evening at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa.
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