Ben White, of Manchester, passed away on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at age 87. Ben was the eldest of five rowdy boys, born to Bill and Louise (Francis) White in Bentonville. He was passionate about the life sciences, physics, economics, and agriculture and dedicated his life to teaching and inspiring students of all ages, drawing from his own experience at West Union High School when his physics teacher saw great potential in the young man’s dedication and urged him to attend college. Striking a deal with his grandfather to earn the proceeds from a field of tobacco, Ben headed to Miami University in the summer of 1951, enrolling in classes while working three jobs including milking cows and pumping gas. He ultimately graduated from Ohio State in June of 1955.
Following an initial year of teaching vocational agriculture at Manchester High School, Ben began his military service in the summer of 1956. In December of that year, he married the former Carol Stiles of Manchester, thus embarking on a lifelong partnership lasting more than 64 years. The young couple began married life on the US Army base in Bamberg, Germany, traveling extensively throughout Europe, exploring different cultures and languages. Ben would often say that their experiences during that period influenced his worldview for the rest of his life. The couple returned to Manchester in 1958 where Ben and Carol continued their teaching careers.
After completing a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Ohio State, Ben became the Agricultural Extension Agent for Adams County, working with farmers across the region for nearly 20 years. Throughout his career Ben taught farm management classes for young farmers and was instrumental in helping the first Amish families become established in Adams County. Ben loved to share his knowledge of farming. Through weekly newspaper columns and radio programs he provided local farmers with innovative ideas and practical advice. After retiring from the Ohio State Extension Service, Ben established a dairy consulting business, helping farmers increase milk production through nutrition. In later life, Ben became one of several owners of Moyer Winery, a business he had fostered years earlier when Ken and Mary Moyer first moved to the area to plant their vineyard.
As a community member, Ben served on the Board of First State Bank for many years and taught the Adult Sunday School Class at Manchester United Methodist Church. A voracious reader, Ben was always eager to engage in discussion about the world economy, politics, nutrition and the stock market.
After many years of waiting, Ben was blessed with eight grandchildren. He instilled in them a love of farming, the importance of savings and investing, and a curiosity about all things. Many of the next generation are following in Ben’s footsteps in the fields of economics, education, agriculture and forestry.
Ben is survived by his wife and two daughters, Beth (Steve) Murray of Philadelphia and Laura (Burgin) Dossett of Nashville, along with eight grandchildren, Ben, Margaret, Frances and Ted Murray; Bo, Will, Elizabeth and Olivia Dossett; and his brothers Bud (Lynn) White of Mechanicsburg, OH; Mack (Joan) White of Oak Park, IL; and Doug (Shirley) White of Manchester. His brother Tom White died in 2017.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, the family will hold private funeral services with a private burial at Manchester Cemetery. Services are entrusted to Wilson Funeral Home in Manchester.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to Hospice of Hope, 909 Kenton Station Dr., Maysville, KY 41056, which cared for Ben with deep compassion during his final days.
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