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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 5 years ago

Nora White's mission brought joy and laughter to many children

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Clowning around was a serious mission for Nora White.

In 12 years, she went on 15 medical missions to work as a pre- and post-op medical assistant and in patient relations with the Medical Missions Foundation of Kansas City, Kan. She traveled to Vietnam, Cuba, Romania and the Philippines for her volunteer work.

White became best known as “Doctor Clown” for her comedic-entertainment routine for young patients along with her puppet sidekick, Chucky.

White, 62, of Longboat Key, died Jan. 3, at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, one week after a heart attack. She was the wife of Islandside Property Owners Coalition President Bob White.

Born March 10, 1950, in Bamberg, Germany, she grew up in Eltman, Germany, before moving in 1969 to the United States. She moved in 1974 to Kansas City, and became an underwriter for Aetna Life Insurance Co.
White met her husband, Bob, at a ski club meeting in Kansas City, where she caught his eye during a Bavarian dance routine. They married after an 11-year courtship.

White got involved with the Medical Missions Foundation through her friends, founders Dr. Tony Racela, and his wife, Luz.

White was honored in 2004 as “Humanitarian of the Year” by the foundation and was also named an honorary citizen of the town of Tagbilaran in the Philippines by its mayor, who hosted a tribute in White’s honor.

She and her husband, Bob, were scheduled to make one more mission trip there in February.

White was also a former volunteer at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

She loved cooking and attended culinary schools in France and Italy, and was known for her beautiful floral arrangements — particularly of orchids — and her spectacular home décor at Christmastime.

White was also a fitness buff who woke up early each morning to exercise an hour on the treadmill and also worked out twice a week in the gym. She loved social gatherings, especially costume parties, where she was known for her creativity.

White is survived by her husband, Bob; sons, Freddy and Jason; daughter, Nichole; stepson, Martin; two sisters; three brothers; and five grandchildren.

Private services will be held on Longboat Key and in Kansas City.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Medical Missions Foundation, 8363 Melrose Drive, Lenexa, Kan., 66214.

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