obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00

Victor R.

Victor White was a creative man who enjoyed a diverse palette of interests throughout his life, but his greatest passion was his pursuit of learning. He was very active with the theatre groups in his community where he also established friendships that were of the utmost importance to him. Victor served his country in the Air Force over a twenty year period during which time he was also blessed with the children who brought him so much joy. Although life was not without challenges for Victor, he faced each head on and continued on with the life he loved.

Although America was greatly oppressed during the year 1935 due to the Great Depression, American enthusiasm and optimism remained. Culture within our nation continued to grow with George Gershwin’s work being heard in New York and authors such as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald continuing to delight their readers. It was also during this year that Homer and Frances (Stein) White, of Peoria, Illinois, welcomed the birth of their son, Victor, on May 21st. Victor was one of three children in his family and was of Russian Jewish descent and his great-grandfather, John Warren White, was one of the raiders who followed the leadership of John Brown, an abolitionist of slavery, during the civil war. Victor’s mother was a professional singer who traveled extensively to resort areas in order to entertain audiences. His father was also gone often as he found work in the casinos leaving Victor to be raised by his Uncle Harry during their absence. Victor formed a close relationship with his uncle during the times he stayed at his house. Victor’s parents divorced, and his father remarried Mary. Victor was blessed with two additional sisters from his dad’s second marriage, Linda and Candy.

During his formative years, Victor’s family relocated to Wisconsin, settling first in Waukesha. He attended Waukesha High School until due to his parents’ careers, their family moved to Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Victor attended Wauwatosa East High School where he became involved in the theatre which ignited within him a passion for the dramatic arts that would remain throughout his entire life. It was while he was in high school that Victor met a young gal, Chloe Wendel, with whom he became friends. It wasn’t until after he graduated from high school in 1953, that Victor and Chloe became more than friends.

After high school Victor worked as an usher in one the theaters downtown and Chloe worked for one of the women’s apparel stores downtown. With a need to get downtown, both Victor and Chloe rode the streetcar to work each day where they renewed their friendship which eventually blossomed into true love. In August of 1954 Victor entered the United States Air Force and worked on the base newspapers as a staff writer and editor. This was to be the work he would enjoy through out his military career, going to different Air Force bases, to work on the base newspapers. During his time in the service Chloe remained in a prominent position in his heart and the two were married in 1956.

Victor’s career in the military often reassigned him to many parts of the country and his new bride went right along with him. From 1958 thru 1960, they were stationed in White Sands, New Mexico where their family grew to include their son Damon. From New Mexico they went to Fairbanks, Alaska where Victor pursued his love for the theatre and received a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree from the University of Alaska. They then were stationed in South Carolina where their son Aaron and daughter Andra were born. While there, Victor was part of the Sumter Little Theatre.

From South Carolina Victor was stationed in Germany and Texas. It was at this point in his life that he and Chloe divorced, but he would forever be so thankful for the children that came as a result of their union. Victor was then assigned to Southeast Asia, and Thailand. In order to deal with some personal issues, Victor then returned stateside and eventually left the service. He retired from the Air Force as a staff sergeant with 20 years of service.

Retiring from the military precipitated a time of adjustment for Victor during which time he moved in with his mother because his step-father had died. This left Victor to become the man of the house. Since he was receiving his retirement earnings from the military, Victor was able to pursue some of his other interests including glass spinning, jewelry making, and he even earned his associate degree in interior design. However, community theatre was the center of his life along with the friends associated with the theater. This was such a great outlet for Victor with many roles for him to play as well as many plays for him to direct and review. Some of Victor’s favorite roles to play were Otto Frank in “The Diary of Anne Frank” and King Duncan in “Macbeth.” Victor became a well-known figure in the Milwaukee Community Theatre acting, directing, and reviewing plays. He also served as the president and board member of the Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa, one of the area’s premiere theatre groups.

Later in life health issues reduced Victor’s activities, but did not squelch his love for learning. Reading was probably his favorite hobby along with playing Scrabble and chess. Victor also enjoyed collecting stamps, honoring his Russian Jewish heritage collecting Russian stamps, and he also collected Wizard of Oz memorabilia. Additionally Victor enjoyed exploring alternative world views; he studied Eastern religions, tarot and even eventually returning to rediscovering Judaism. In 2007 health issues forced Victor to leave his home on 70th Street and move to Chai Point on Milwaukee’s east side. When he later needed additional help, Victor moved to the Jewish Home and Care Center where he later drew his last breath.

Like a magnificently composed symphony, Victor White brought so much harmony and feeling to the moments he shared with so many others in his life. He was a man of great intelligence who loved learning and touching others through the theatre groups within his community. Victor was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, and friend to those who will forever cherish his memory. He will be dearly missed.

Victor R. White died on November 5, 2009. His family includes his children, Damon (Julie) White, Aaron (Jackie) White, and Andra White; grandchildren, Adam, Jessica, Erika, Natalie, and Katie White; siblings, Brian (Barbara) Benson, Sharon (Ken) Nadeau, Linda White and Candy Wilcox; dear friends, Thomas Zuelke, Judy Tarbox, Jane Preston and Ann Marie Cheney; 8 great-grandchildren; as well as other relatives and many theatre friends. Visit with Victor’s family and friends on Monday November 9th at the Funeral Home from 5:00 p.m. until time of the Funeral Service at 7:00 p.m. Interment Southern Wisconsin Veteran Memorial Cemetery, Union Grove, WI. Arrangements provided by Suminski Family Funeral Homes, Suminski / Weiss, 1901 N. Farwell Ave (414) 276-5122. Please visit where you can leave a favorite memory or photo, or sign his online guestbook.

Past Comments


Happy Birthday, dear man, I wish you were here so I could say it in person.

Daryl Lynch

It’s ironic that what I will remember Victor for is the play Victor directed me in was about what happens after you die. About accepting you’ve died and letting go of the people and regrets of your life, before you can move on.

I’ve been in many plays, many of which I can not remember well, but I can vividly remember rehearsing this play with Victor.

I miss Victor, and hope he knows he has impacted my life and I will always carry a part of him in my heart.

– Daryl

Barbara Lynch

We will miss Victor. He was truely an icon in commumity theatre.

As an actor, Victor could read the phone book and entertain an audience.

As a director, he could bring out the performance you didn’t think you had in yourself.

He had, especially, a talent for working with new plays and fine tuning them into works of art.

As an actor, the performance I remember most vividly, was his portrayal of Hamlet’s father’s ghost in Haunted Shakespeare. He was just amazing.

And as a director, Victor taught me all I needed to know.

Barbara Lynch


Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa, Inc.

Kimber Okamoto

Hello to all, I do have to agree with my Aunt Linda,

it is such a shame that at a time of loss we all come together. I wished I could be there. I miss everyone. Its been a long time since i’ve seen any of my cousins or Uncle Victor. It is so true, he never forgot anyone’s birthday;

including my son, Brent who had the same Birthday. Uncle Victor will be deeply missed and I will never forget his signature smiley face in every card or letter he wrote to me.

I love you and will miss you always,

Kimber 🙂

Stephen MacKay

My deepest sympathies go out to those who cared for Victor and new him throughout his time here. We have all had hardships, some of which we never speak of. But it seems from what I have heard from my mother, Linda White, Victor was as passionate about life as he was compassionate kind and caring to those he loved. Never forgetting his siblings and mother on birthdays and during the holidays no matter where he was in the world is a testament of what more people should be like. Never foget the ones you love, embrace them with your heart and share as much with them while we all have this brief stint of wonder here on a tiny planet lost in a sea of mystery among the stars.

I only met Victor a few times when I was younger so I’m sad to say I don’t have many memories of him but I do remember that he never forgot me either as my mom has mentioned. Throughout my career as a Nordic Ski jumper he always made the extra effort in the grandest sense of selflessness to family to support me financially in my hopes of representing my country in the Olympics.

A truly great man that I wish I could have spent more time with. Especially starting to realize what is important in this life. Not money or material possesions, but family and friends in search of bettering each others lives.

It seems Victor did that very well and I’m without doubt that he made everyone in his life feel loved and appreciated. I didnt know him well but the things he did for me from abroad makes me feel a sense of humbled appreciateion that im sure is magnified even more with his children and grandchildren, siblings and friends.

Here’s to VIC!


Brian Benson

My earliest memories of my brother were when he was on leave and dating his future wife, Chloe. They would take walks in the evening so they could be alone, and I would follow them and spy on them. I would watch them hold hands and kiss. After that he was always in otherparts of the world, and I would only see him every few years when he was home on leave.

Victor was instrumental in my decision to join the Air Force. When I was drafted in 1965, I had some phone conversations with him about the Air Force and wound up enlisting for four years in the Air Force instead of going into the Army for two years.

We began talking on the phone and keeping in touch. In 1967 he told me he was being transferred to Korat, Thailand. I received orders that I would be going there too, but I couldn’t tell him becauseour mission was classified. When I arrived there I looked for him for two weeks only to find he was living in the “hooch” next door to mine! That was the start of our real relationship. We would get together every Friday night when we could and go for our “Friday night fish fry” of Thai fish called “plakapong” and Sing Ha beer. For my first Christmas away from home that year, he got us front front row seats at the USO show with Bob Hope, Raquel Welch and Miss USA.

We spent six months together, and I got to know him as someone who was very smart and fun to be with. I will always remember and treasure those times with him.

Sharon Nadeau

There was only one Victor & I was blessed to have him my whole life! My big brother, when I was a little girl, always protected me and looked out for me. He always made me feel special. I loved his bear hugs & smile, & he always soothed me with his beautiful voice & eloquent way of speaking. He had many sides to him simple & complexed, many facets, faces, & flavors. I admired his genius mind, he was entertaining, interesting with his vast knowledge & to me he was the greatest actor I ever saw!

One thing for sure when you met Victor he would leave an impression on you that you would always remember!

He was the most thoughtful & caring big brother & never would forget my three daughters & I on birthdays & holidays. Our conversations were often centered around our family, & he cherished his three children & grand children. He has left us with many gifts & special memories.

It hurt me very much to know how he suffered these past years, now he is out of pain & at peace & finally he will receive his ACADEMY AWARD!!

He will always be in my heart & thoughts & always be with me!! I will miss him dearly, hug & kisses, God Bless

His little sister Sharon

Dawn S. Verhalen


Wise & intellectual, taught me culture.

Like an egyptian pharoah, he would tell me my tarot.

With good intentions indeed-

Introducing to me the Hobbit and the importance of a good read.

At my young age we listened to music, I loved when he would sing to me!

Sharing with me the deep emotion, as with Streisand,

there was a special devotion.

I’ll never forget his blowing of glass, so artistic, he was charming and had such class.

I’d always value receiving his cards. He often thought of me with special regards. I would read the words as if he were speaking-with his soft low comforting voice-

sending me love + happiness in life to rejoice.

With gods blessings they would end and with that smiley face like from a friend!

I do that too now, with him in mind but add curly hair all around that smiley face to me was just so profound.

I always looked up to my uncle Victor, he was very special to me.

I’ll always look up to my uncle Victor especially now

that he’s up in heaven with thee!

I will miss him dearly, & Loved him very much.

His Niece Dawnie, thats what he called me.

Erika White

It was not until yesterday while talking to Andra that I really considered what the loss of Grandpa Victor means to me personally. In the past few years as I have been building my adult life and family, I haven’t given much thought to any of my grandparents. They (and he) seemed such a staple, one of those permanent figures in the whirlwind of the years. Visit here and there, give them a kiss and a card amid the torrent of the holidays, etc, etc, etc. His passing has reminded me not to take anyone for granted and also reminded me of how important he was to me and how important family was to him.

He introduced my sisters and I to theater and I remember how special it was for us to be in plays with him and to go and see him in other productions. As children, it felt like Grandpa was a kind of celebrity, and we were his VIPS when we got to see him in the theater.

Although I didn’t see him very often, that was made up for by the quality of time when I was with him. He always went out of his way to make birthdays special, by taking me out to lunch and usually to something special, even during my tumultous adolescence and into college, there was a Grandpa birthday date. It was the same way with holidays, there was always special Victor time set aside, and anytime he came to the house for a visit we knew that he’d have some special little something for us in his bag.

In an apartment with so many trinkets and oddities, we wanted to play with every brass piece and know why none of the books had pictures in them. There were a few things we could “play” with, but it wasn’t really a children’s place. However, my sisters and I keenly remember his Barbie box, which he would always pull out for us to play with when we came over. My sister remembers how it was always organized and all the dolls had all their shoes and complete outfits (something that couldn’t be said for our own collections.)

Grandpa Victor definitely takes the award for having the coolest “stuff” but he also takes the cake for being a cool grandpa. At an age when I found most adults obsolete and boring, Grandpa Victor taught me how to bead and make jewelery, loaned me his Shakespeare books, and taught me how to read Tarot. He always knew the movie to see and was as keenly a Harry Potter fan as I am.

I know most would like to think that memories from a person are more important than the things they leave behind, but in my life, those things are intertwined. The memories I have of Grandpa are rekindled when I teach my daughter how to make a necklace, or when I watch the Wizard of Oz. I’ll pass so many things on to my children that I learned to appreciate because of Grandpa. I think that it will be difficult to miss Grandpa when I can find him so easily in so many places within my life. His presence definitely will live on in many ways and in many lives.


I probably knew Victor less then anyone who has written thoughts or signed the guest book. I meet Victor through the VPW in the early 90’s, but I was never in a play with him nor did I have him as a director. We probably only talked a dozen or so times (during auditions and performances) and not for very long – but those brief talks always started with Victor shaking my hand with a smile and saying “It is great to see you again TJ”. It was always very sincere and usually followed with a comment about some recent performance that I did with the VPW (there were even a couple of “good” comments – JK). I condiser myself a good judge of character and I always thought that Victor was probably a great Dad, brother, uncle and friend. After reading these comments, I was obviously right about that. He was the “Godfather” of the VPN and I doubt that anyone will come along to replace him. My sincere condolences to his family. Victor will be missed.

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