TELLURIDE – Daniel James White, 36, died in a tragic car accident Saturday, April 11, 2009. White spent the last two summers as an instructor with Telluride Academy, where he shared his love of mountain biking and the outdoors with countless students.
White was born April 5, 1973, in Muskegon, Michigan. After graduating from Mona Shores High School in 1991, he attended Hope College and graduated in 1996. He then began his passion of teaching at Mona Shores, spending the last nine years at Campbell School. He was currently teaching in California, while working on his master’s degree.
“We’re so saddened that we’ve lost not only an amazing educator, but a friend,” said Emily Dresslar, executive director of Telluride Academy. “Dan had a special presence at the Academy that will be missed immensely.”
Teaching and sports were driving forces in White’s life. He lived life to the fullest and never met anyone that didn’t become an instant friend. Dan’s unforgettable smile and big dimples warmed the hearts of all who met him. He gave great hugs. He kept an open mind and nurtured a tender heart. White loved the outdoors and places of natural beauty, and he traveled around the US extensively. Through tissue and organ donations that will benefit as many as 50 people, he will be able to touch lives just as he touched all those he met.
White leaves behind his parents, Dan and Sherry White of Muskegon, his brother, Paul White (partner Paul Ku) of San Francisco; his sisters Amy (Steve) VerMerris, Diana (Dave) Lamphere of Muskegon; Julie White of Grand Rapids; his nephew Elijah VerMerris, nieces Kennah, Emerson and Keaton VerMerris; Tessa and Emma Lamphere. Dan also leaves a host of treasured friends, students, aunts, uncles and cousins.
A Telluride memorial service is planned for the evening of Friday, June 5 on the ski area near the top station of the gondola. Call 970/728-5311 for more information.