Life of the association

In Memoriam - Willis S. “Pete” WHITE Jr

1926 - 2021

Michael HEYECK, the current CIGRE Vice President Finance on the left, bestows upon Pete WHITE the CIGRE USNC coveted Philip SPORN award in 2019. Pete WHITE is the second from the left, then Bob BRADISH, AEP SVP and CIGRE USNC Executive Committee member, and the current AEP CEO Nick AKINS

It is with deep regret that CIGRE announces the passing of Willis S. “Pete” WHITE Jr. “The entire CIGRE family mourns the passing of a truly great gentleman”, said Michel AUGONNET, CIGRE President.

Pete WHITE was the first President of CIGRE from the United States National Committee, from 1984 to 1990.

Born in 1926 in Chesapeake, Virginia, Willis S. “Pete” WHITE Jr. attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute majoring in electrical engineering. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945 before the end of World War II.

He spent his entire professional career at American Electric Power (AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the US, from his start as an assistant engineer in 1948 to his retirement as chairman and CEO from 1976 to 1991.

Michael HEYECK, CIGRE Vice President Finance, joined AEP in 1976 when Pete WHITE was CEO. “He was truly a gentleman, very approachable, and very gracious to everyone”, said HEYECK. “As assistant to AEP President Philip SPORN after WHITE joined AEP in 1948, Pete emulated SPORN with the same drive for technological breakthroughs in the electric power industry.”

Pete WHITE was a director of several companies and organizations including the Bank of New York Mellon, Irving Trust Company, the Edison Electric Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Battelle Memorial Institute.

President George H. W. BUSH appointed WHITE as a private-sector representative to the U.S. Presidential Economic Delegation to Poland.

He was an amateur musician and played the trombone and piano. He was a member of Virginia Tech’s marching band and sang with the AEP choir when he worked for the company in New York.

He received the Philip SPORN award, the highest distinction of the US National Committee of CIGRE, in 2019.

He died on July 4 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, aged 94.

On behalf of the CIGRE community, grateful for his outstanding contribution to its activities during his presidency, the leaders of the Association express their deepest condolences to his family and friends.

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