Waukesha Alderman Brian White, who died Sunday from heart failure, is being remembered as someone who did whatever he could to make the city a great place to live.
“He knew what he believed in and what he liked, and he fought for what he believed in,” said his brother, Alan White. “All communities go through changes and there were changes he didn’t believe in that passed or got through, but he did his part to keep the things he believed in in the community.”
Brian White, who was 55, died at Waukesha Memorial Hospital.
Alan White said his brother was very active throughout the community and in other activities, such as the Tripoli Rocketry Association, ham radio and volunteering at the National Weather Service station in Sullivan. The lifelong Waukesha resident was also an award-winning trap-shooter.
However, Alan White said his brother’s biggest passion was helping out the community, making sure he went out and met voters instead of relying on yard signs so he could have a personal connection with residents.
“He was there for the people of the community,” Alan White said. “If the majority of the people wanted to go left, he would take them left. He listened to the people of Waukesha and wanted to make it a better place to live in, and being a politician it’s tough to everybody on the same page.”
Mayor Jeff Scrima described White as a "caring and responsible colleague. We will miss him.”
In addition to serving as alderman since April 2011, White also participated in the most recent Waukesha Police Department Citizens Academy.
Alderman Paul Ybarra said he first met White five or six years ago while volunteering for the Christmas parade. He said White was a caring individual and leader who took his time to research issues.
“You can tell a person cares when it was midyear and he was already starting to think of ways to make the parade better,” Ybarra said.
Ybarra said White made sure to research issues the Common Council tackled and always made sure to get facts before deciding on an issue, saying White made sure to meet with others to discuss issues, such as water.
“He wasn’t looking to validate his own thoughts when going in, so he spent a lot of time considering the facts,” Ybarra said. “The big thing is he invested the time to educate himself on all sides of the issues.”
Alderwoman Joan Francoeur said she got to know White while he served on the Human Resources Committee she chairs, saying he was always thoughtful in the decision making process even though he wouldn’t be the most vocal at times.
Francoeur said during one development issue that came before the Common Council White even took the time to go near the area and meet with neighbors near the development so he could better understand the situation at hand before making a decision.
“He was a quiet member of the committee, but you could always tell when he agreed with something because he would have a shy smile,” she said.
Common Council President Joe Pieper added: “Brian was a very thoughtful man and certainly will be missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
White is survived by his mother, Doris White of Waukesha; his brothers, Kevin White and Alan (Jill) White, both of Waukesha; and two nieces, Krista and Mandy White, both of Waukesha. He is further survived by his aunts, Lois Gehrke of Sussex and Eileen (Ed) Rachwal of Mukwonago, along with cousins, other relatives and friends.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave. The funeral will take place immediately after the visitation, with the Rev. Scott Oelhafen presiding.
Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Prairie Home Cemetery. For further information, please call Randle-Dable-Brisk at 262-547-4035 or go to www.waukeshafunerals.com for directions or to leave the family an online tribute message.