Jerry White Suspended
On February 5, long-time cryonicist Jerry White, age 55, was pronounced dead and was suspended. Jerry (Jerome B.) had been ill for many months with complications from the AIDS virus.
Jerry is one of the founders of the American Cryonics Society (ACS) and served in various capacities as an officer and Governor, or committee member for most of our history.
From 1968 through 1982 and from 1990 through 1992 Jerry served on our Board of Governors. He was society President from 1971 through 1982 succeeding Dr. M. Coleman Harris under which Jerry served as Vice-President. During his tenure as President he undertook many tasks on our behalf including the arduous chore of obtaining our non-profit tax exemption. He was frequently a guest on television and radio talk shows promoting cryonics as well as speaking to college and high school students and to clubs such as the Rotary club and Mensa (Jerry was a Mensa member).
Jerry was also one of the founders of Trans Time, Inc. and served on the Trans Time Board for many years.
He received a B.A. degree in Philosophy in 1966 from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. He continued his education at the University of California at Berkeley where he studied Computer Science and Education. Jerry was especially interested in the Psychology of Learning, programmed learning, and computer-aided learning.
From 1983 through 1992 Jerry was a lead designer for Sterling Federal Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California (Sterling Software). Sterling is a contractor to NASA Ames. While at Sterling Jerry worked on a variety of NASA projects including helping develop a computer program to analyze the atmosphere of Mars and on a variety of programs connected with the design of tilt-wing aircraft.
He also worked for the University of California, College of Natural Resources; Honeywell Information Systems in San Francisco; the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; and the General Programmed Teaching Corporation.
From August 1957 through August 1959 Jerry was in the Navy where he served in the combat-information center as watch-section supervisor (radar) and as master-at-arms. He was honorably discharged with Captain's commendation.
Like many other cryonicists Jerry had a wide range of interests. He was a Lincoln scholar and collected over 500 books on President Lincoln. (This collection has been given to ACS.) He taught himself to read and speak Russian in elementary school. In addition to Russian, Jerry spoke and/or read German, Spanish, French, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Modern Mongolian. He was a student of comparative languages and language origins.
Jerry was an active member of the Libertarian party and a staunch advocate of personal freedom. He was also active in the Gay-rights movement and AIDS causes. He did a number of newspaper interviews wherein he discussed his disease and his cryonic suspension arrangements.
Here are some of his papers and conference presentations which cryonicists will find of interest:
Jerry's suspension is the first ACS suspension by BioPreservation, a southern California firm headed by Mike Darwin and Dr. Steve Harris. Some of our people who trained under Mike using the suspension protocol developed by Mike, Jerry Leaf, and others, participated in the standby and suspension. This was also our first use of the emergency response equipment which we purchased from BioPreservation in 1993.
The months of preparation and training helped to give Jerry a first-class send-off. Cardiopulmonary support was started immediately. The treating physician was quickly on the scene to pronounce and assist. Total-body washout was initiated within an hour and a half of pronouncement. The detailed preparation by ACS and BioPreservation, the dedication of our advising physician, and the professionalism of our contract mortuary (within a few miles of Jerry's home) all contributed to success. It is the opinion of Mike and others that this suspension compares favorably to the best suspensions done to date. Unlike so many other suspensions there were no significant complications or unforeseen problems. A full technical report is available.
Jerry was a strong advocate of neuro suspension and specified that choice in his suspension paper-work. His wishes were followed. Mr. White, with help from Jim Yount, and a local pathologist and morticians, suspended the brain of Jerry's mother Susan, in 1992. Later that year, Jerry and Jim, with the assistance of a veterinarian, suspended the family cat, who is also a neuro.
The cool-down to liquid nitrogen temperature was undertaken early the same week under the auspices of CryoSpan with long-term storage in southern California.
A memorial service was held Sunday, March 6, 1994 at 2:00 p.m. at Temple Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills, CA.
More Photos of Jerry