Jonathan White | Passages

5/9/1956 to 4/8/2023

It’s with profound sadness, we announce that Jonathan White, husband, father, author and founder of White Construction passed away after an eight-month battle with brain cancer. On April 8, Jonathan peacefully took his last breath surrounded by his loving family.

Jonathan was born May 9, 1956, in Los Angeles, California to Jayne Perry White from Springfield, Massachusetts and William Robert White from Brookline, Massachusetts. Jonathan was one of seven children.

In 1978, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon and in 2015, he was awarded a Master’s degree in Creative Nonfiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Jonathan met Donna Laslo (NYC/ Niagara Falls, Ont.) in 1989, fell in love and married in 1997. They built a home and shared a wonderful life together on Orcas Island, Washington. In 2000, they welcomed a son, Matthew Laslo White, who remains their pride and joy.

Jonathan grew up on the beaches of southern California creating a lifelong interest in and love for the sea. He was a fine home builder, author, sailor and conservationist and loved to surf and play tennis. In 1983, Jonathan started a non-profit educational foundation, Resource Institute, based aboard a 65-foot wooden schooner. For ten years, Resource Institute hosted workshops up and down the Pacific Northwest coast.

One of Jonathan’s two award-winning books — Talking on the Water — came out of his conversations with the many onboard presenters. Jonathan wrote a second book, TIDES, investigating the science and spirit of the oceans. Before he passed, Jonathan was working on a third book combining his interest in the Baja and the boat Steinbeck and Ricketts used to travel through the Sea of Cortez in the 1930s.

He served on numerous conservation boards and committees, including the San Juan Preservation Trust, the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee, and the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative.

He founded White Construction & Co. in 1979 and spent 45 years building exquisite homes with a number of them featured in “Fine Home Building” and “Luxe” magazines. He was a lover of fine craftsmanship and received deep satisfaction from the process of building a beautiful well-designed home.

Jonathan was predeceased by his parents and brother Thomas White, San Diego, CA. He is survived by his wife Donna and son Matthew; brother Steve White (Brenda Gunn) San Diego, CA, and sisters Darcy White of Scottsdale, AZ, Lynne White (Matthew Kearney), Kimberly White of Seattle, and Shelley White of Poulsbo, WA along with many adored nieces and nephews.

He will be dearly missed by his family, friends, colleagues and all who knew him.

A celebration of life will be held on June 6 at 4 p.m. at the Orcas Center, 917 Mt Baker Rd, Eastsound, WA

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the SeaDoc Society ( whose mission is to protect the health of marine wildlife and their habitats through science and education, an organization Jonathan felt strongly about.