Former Diocese of Milwaukee Bishop Roger J. White dies at 71

Posted Aug 29, 2012

[Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee] The Rt. Rev. Roger J. White, 71, died Aug. 28 at Froedert Memorial Hospital where he was being treated after suffering a ruptured brain aneurysm on Aug. 9. He is survived by his wife, Prudence (“Pru”) and their three children.

White was born Jan. 31, 1941, in the city of Leeds in Yorkshire, England. He was educated in the United Kingdom and ordained a priest of the Church of England in 1967. Transferring to the Episcopal Church in 1969, he was serving as rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, when he was elected in 1984 to serve the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee as its 10th bishop.

As bishop, his interests included Christian initiation and the catechumenate, which looked at new ways of inviting people to join in the life of the church. Clergy wellness was another focus of his ministry and he was a founding member of the Cornerstone Project which addresses this issue in the national level in the Episcopal Church.

Appointed by the presiding bishop to chair a coordinating committee charged with developing a new relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church, White traveled to Russia several times during the last years of the U.S.S.R. and the early post-communist years.

With the Rev. Richard Kew, White wrote several books dealing with the future of the church, including New Millennium, New Church (Cowley Press) and Venturing Into the New Millennium (Latimer Press).

He was very involved in the Diocese of Milwaukee’s Haiti Project, which partnered with a parish in Jennette, Haiti, to provide improved health care and education to the surrounding community.

His vision for the diocese focused on evangelism and forming people for discipleship, ministry, and service.

The Rt. Rev. Steven A. Miller, current bishop of Milwaukee, noted that “Roger served the Diocese of Milwaukee at a critical time in the life of the Episcopal Church. His focus on the ministry of all the baptized and the church’s mission to know, love, and serve Jesus in the world, were manifested by the ministries begun during his tenure as bishop. We give thanks for his life and ministry, and hold his wife Pru, and their family, in our prayers.”

Funeral services will be held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 6 at All Saints’ Cathedral (818 E. Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202). Visitation will precede the service beginning at 4 p.m. in the cathedral library. Interment will be in the cathedral columbarium at the conclusion of the service. The Rt. Rev. Steven A. Miller, bishop of Milwaukee, will preside.


Comments (9)

  1. Fr. Joseph Neiman says:

    I met Bishop White at province V meetings and we traveled together to Nigeria in 1991 to evaluate the Province to Province relationship with the Anglican Church of Nigeria. He was always gracious and open, and he was both fun to be with and yet always an inspiration as well. May he rest in peace and rise up in glory.


  2. Nancy Barnard Starr says:

    Bishop White was our diocesan bishop in Milwaukee for 7 years. After a move took us south, I traced my steps back to him, sensing a call to ordained ministry. We met at Kanuga and the House of Bishops, because it was nearby. He went to New Zealand to speak before our move there, and brought pictures to my ordination. We corresponded as recently as July; he was, as ever, cheerful of full of advice. A mutual friend said +Roger’s hands stretched to find people. It is hard to imagine letting go. Walk in peace, +Roger, and rise in glory.

    Blessings galore, Nancy+

  3. Jason Samuel says:

    I will miss Bishop White. He entered into a time of discernment with me when other bishops would not and always remained honest to his word and commitments. I will be grateful for his suppport of this priest who re-gained his trust for the episcopate through the ministry of this bishop.

  4. Hank Stroup says:

    Bishop White spent many months in the Pawleys Island/Litchfield Beach area of South Carolina every year. Over the last 12 years he attended Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church. Let me correct that as he did not just attend but when he and his wife were here they worked on Thursday nights in our Food Pantry and he participated in a Lentan production of Cup of Trembling based on the life of Dietrich Bonhoefferand also regurally attended Men’s Bible study. Even though he was a Bishop, I will remember him, and his wife, as fellow church members. I am sure he was a great Rector, Bishop and author but I will remember himmost as a willing worker in our Church. Rest in peace until we meet again.

  5. Fr. Steve Norcross says:

    Bishop White was on the interview committee when, years ago, I applied for the position of chaplain at Church Home in Milwaukee. Although I was not offered the job, I do remember his wit and his kindness during the interview hour. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

  6. Judge Richard L. Ackley says:

    Bishop Roger White, encouraged the Rev. Dewry Silas, who became a priest in the Diocese of Milwaukee. Father Silas always talked about his gracious and support of his journey. It was late
    vocation. Also when our Bishop Russ Jocubus was not able to do our confirmations Bishop White
    came to Holy Apostles in Oneida, Wisconsin. A very spiritual and gracious person who supported many. May his soul rest in peace. Father Silas has passed on and may his soul rest in peace
    Green Bay, Wisconsin

  7. Sue Schlanbusch says:

    Bishop White served as the National Chaplain for the Daughters of the King during my tenure as National President and was a deeply concerned mentor for our Council, as well as a willing listener for me when there were difficult decisions to be made. He will be greatly missed by many

  8. William J. Wood says:

    I came to know Roger very well when he served as President of Province V. His committment to the global mission of the Church was well articulated. In meetings he was lively, energitic and bold. Through his leadership he brought his diocese to ordain women.

    God bless him

  9. Rev. Pierre Auguste says:

    I first met bishop White in Jeannette on february 2000 when I was appointed to serve as the new priest in charge there. He gave me a cross, every time I see the cross I will remember him. He was a good pastor and a freindly man. He discovered a brother or a sister in each people he met. The episcopal church of Haiti especially the people in St Marc-Jeannette will miss him. May his soul rest in peace. Rev.Pierre Auguste+.

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