School 17

Bernie L. White

August 2, 1950 ~ May 28, 2021 (age 70)

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Obituary of Bernie L. White

            Bernie L. White, the son of Melvin Charles White and Ellen Elizabeth (Reber) White, was born August 2, 1950 in Seneca, Kansas and passed away on May 28, 2021 at the Filmore County Hospital, Geneva, NE at the age of 70 years, 9 months, and 27 days.

            Bernie grew up and attended school in Vermillion, KS until the age of 9 when his family moved to Glen Elder, KS, where he graduated from Glen Elder High School in 1968.     Following high school, Bernie attended Cloud County Community College where he thoroughly enjoyed his college experience.   He later attended Kansas Wesleyan University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in teaching.  Bernie began teaching at Happy Corner Elementary (Ell-Saline, USD 307) in 1975; students remember the fun atmosphere in the classroom, as well as the way Mr. White cared for each of them and made learning fun.   We have yet to meet a former student that does not have a fun experience to share.

            While teaching, Bernie completed his Master’s degree at Kansas State University and in 1987 began his journey in school administration.   As Principal at Ell-Saline Jr/Sr High School, Bernie continued to advocate for all students, mentor teachers, and begin the integration of technology into the classroom.   As principal, it was also his job to “chaperone” the senior sneak where he had as much (if not more) fun than the students.  

            Not only did Bernie enjoy a role in educating future generations, he continued his own education and earned his EdD from Kansas State University.   In 1993, he became the Ell-Saline Superintendent where he stayed until retirement in 2005.   During his time as Superintendent, Bernie continued working to elevate the standard of education to benefit the students, maintain high standards for teachers, oversee building expansion, and lead Ell-Saline Schools to become one of the top schools in the area.  He was honored by the district with the Ell-Saline Gymnasium being named in his name at the time of his retirement.

            Bernie was united in marriage to Deanna Hoard on March 6, 2010.   He later adopted Deanna’s son, Trenton, in 2011.     The couple made their home in Formoso, KS and later moved to Belleville, KS.

            As much as Bernie enjoyed teaching; he loved being a father and grandfather more.  Bernie helped with 4-H projects, attended the many sporting events of his children and grandchildren and offered support, advice, and encouragement along the way.   He celebrated his family’s successes and mourned their losses.   He took every opportunity to fish, hunt, paintball, and four wheel with his family; and never passed up a chance to hit the golf course with any family member willing to go.  Bernie remained close to his immediate and extended family throughout his life, often organizing and hosting get-togethers and reunions.

            Bernie was preceded in death by his parents; son, Trenton Mitchell; brother, Charles, and beloved aunt and uncles;

            He is survived by his wife Deanna, of Belleville, KS; children (from previous marriage), Andy White of North Kansas City,  Daniel White of Salina, KS, Ellaina (Jason) Brightbill of Salina, KS, and Bridget (Ryan) Brocato of Lee’s Summit, MO;   sister, Dodi (Don) Fisher;  brothers, Paul (Carol) White, Ralph (Judy) White all of Salina, KS;  grandchildren: Jonah Mattson, Dylan & Nolan White, Fallon & Larsen Brocato, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

            Cremation was selected and memorial services will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the Trinity United Methodist Church, Jewell, KS with Pastor Jim Rice, officiating.      

            The family will greet friends prior to the service at the Church from 1:00 PM until 2:00 PM on Saturday.  

            Inurnment will be at the Randall Cemetery, Randall KS.

            Memorials are suggested to the Ell-Saline School District, USD 307 and may be sent in care of the funeral home, Bachelor-Surber Funeral Home, P.O. Box 326, Belleville, KS  66935.

            Online condolences and information at

            Bachelor-Surber Funeral Home, Belleville, KS is in charge of the arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bernie L. White, please visit our floral store.


Gathering of Family and Friends Prior to the Services
July 24, 2021

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Trinity United Methodist Church, Jewell, Kansas
503 Main Street
Jewell, KS 66949

Memorial Service
July 24, 2021

2:00 PM
Trinity United Methodist Church, Jewell, Kansas
503 Main Street
Jewell, KS 66949

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