Peregrine White

Peregrine White

Peregrine 'White, Jr., died Friday May 8, 2020 at Beverly Hospital in Beverly, MA. He was 62 and a long-time resident of Ipswich MA. He died from complications of cancer that had impacted his brain, slowly causing a significant cognitive deficit over the last year. He also had COVID-19. He was born in Durham, North Carolina and moved to the Washington DC area when he was ten. There he attended The Potomac School and Churchill High School. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore with a BS in Environmental Engineering followed by a Diploma in Environmental and Applied Fluid Dynamics from the von Karman Institute of Fluid Dynamics in Brussels, Wallonian Belgium. He then received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT. He published a book, still in print through MIT press, called "The Idea Factory: Learning to think at MIT." It was well received by faculty and students alike, and for many years has been "must" reading for incoming students at MIT and other engineering schools. After graduation he worked in Cambridge, MA where he met his future wife Elizabeth Ross. They married in 1995 and moved to Ipswich where he established an energy consulting firm. The office closed after he became ill. After a stint at Burnell Controls, in Danvers, MA. he began a job at Market Basket in Rowley, working in the produce department. He became a proud expert on arranging vegetables in attractive displays. His nickname was Pepper and he lived up to his name. He was filled with zest (spice) for life. He never gave up, no matter the circumstances, including his decline over his last year. He liked to take off to go do things. He took off on his bike one summer and rode across the country. His bike broke down right when he could see his final coast down to his final destination in California, but he didn't give up. He figured out some fix with what he had on hand and made it. As a kid he worked in a bike shop fixing bikes, a pizza place making pizzas, a Safeway in DC loading groceries into (his words) "old ladies' cars." (They tipped him well. He was a sweet kid.) He took off for Italy to ride his bike and got "adopted" by a professional Italian racing team. He learned to speak Italian. He took off for Bruges, Belgium, and traveled around Europe when not studying. He learned to speak French. He settled in Cambridge, MA, and kept riding his bike. He played soccer. He rode his bike. While working full time, he gave up personal time on weekends and spent a year writing his book about MIT. He made great friends everywhere he went. If he'd had his dream job, he would have been a comedian, but he fell just a little short, mostly in timing. He studied architecture, art history, and film theory, even though he focused on engineering. It was a given that every time you sat and shared a cup of hot tea or coffee with him he would start explaining fluid dynamics to you, basing his discussion on the steam rising from your cup. He did so many energy audits in Massachusetts that he knew the entire underbelly of its industries-ice rinks, asphalt plants, housing projects, schools, hospitals, Gorton's Fish, Logan Airport. For housing projects, he said, "They need trees." They got them. For a state hospital where many elderly people lived, he said, "These people need air conditioning." They got it. Pepper will carry on in the spirits of all the people whose lives he touched, especially his son Sam whom he loved dearly. He will carry on through memories of all the care he showed the world and his family. He will be missed. He was a member of First Church of Christian Science in Ipswich. He is survived by his son, Samuel A. White, of the home; sister Katherine R. White (Thomas W. Urquhart) of Raleigh, NC; sister Emily White, of Cambridge Mass.; and, cousin Susanna T. Gretz of London, England. He was predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth R. White; his father, Peregrine White Sr; his mother, Junita R. White and a sister Helen A White Burial was private. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Targeting a Cure for Lung Cancer Research at the Mass General Cancer Center. Gifts can be made online at https://giving.massgeneral.org/donate/ or mailed to the MGH Development Office, attention: Keith Erickson, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston, MA 021 14. Checks payable to Massachusetts General Hospital. Please include "Pepper White" on the memo line.
June 9, 1957 - May 8, 202006/09/195705/08/2020
Recommend Peregrine's obituary to your friends.

Share Obituary:

Share a memory

Add to your memory
Photos/Video
Candle
Mementos

Obituary

Peregrine 'White, Jr., died Friday May 8, 2020 at Beverly Hospital in Beverly, MA. He was 62 and a long-time resident of Ipswich MA. He died from complications of cancer that had impacted his brain, slowly causing a significant cognitive deficit over the last year. He also had COVID-19.He was born in Durham, North Carolina and moved to the Washington DC area when he was ten. There he attended The Potomac School and Churchill High School.He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimor...

Read more

Events

There are no events scheduled. You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or plant a tree in memory of Peregrine White.

Visit the Tribute Store