mesh polo Old Mill athletic director Craig White laid to rest
Craig White touched so many lives from Western Pennsylvania to Anne Arundel County.
On Tuesday, family, friends and colleagues from both areas gathered to celebrate his life. White, Old Mill High School’s athletic director the last three years and a longtime girls basketball coach at the school, died last Wednesday at age 44 after a battle with melanoma.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Severna Park, followed by a graveside service. In addition to family and friends from the Pittsburgh area, White’s wife, Cindi, and three daughters were joined by those who had become his second family since he graduated from Central Catholic High School and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“The service was exactly like Craig would have wanted it to be,” said Wiley Baker, a 1986 Old Mill graduate who is a fixture at the school’s sporting events. “He was never flashy, just solid as a rock as a friend, teacher, athletic director and family man.”
White, who died on July 29 after a battle with Stage 4 melanoma, was known around the county as someone who always chose to show you his positive.
During the eulogy, the Rev. James D. Proffitt said while sadness might be the immediate feeling, it was a time also to celebrate White’s life. He reminded the gathering that although White might have left the earth physically, his legacy lives through his three daughters.
“Craig touched a lot of people’s lives,” said Jeff Martin,
Old Mill assistant athletic director and baseball coach. “I thought the service represented him to a T.”
Although White died from cancer, he never surrendered to the disease, Proffitt said with a nod to White’s competitive nature.
With playing sports a player builds character, integrity, and the foundation of who they will become later in life. It is with sports that we are pushed to the limit when we think we can’t be pushed any harder or farther, where we want to give up and quit but we cannot for our team, not for our.”He wanted to win, but he also wanted to make sure (his) girls got something outside of basketball,” said Old Mill girls basketball coach Rick Smith, who was an assistant under White and took over as head coach when White became athletic director. “He was one of the good guys and someone who deserved to be around longer than he was.”
Several of White’s former players attended Tuesday’s service, including Melanie Herget Siira, who spoke before the service. Herget Siira was part of White’s 2007 Class 4A East Region championship team.
“He was so selfless and thought about others before himself,” she said. “He is the most influential person in my life, and I sincerely thank him for everything he did.”
Over the last two days, many of the county’s teachers, athletic directors, administrators and students gathered for viewings at Barranco Funeral Home in Severna Park and Tuesday’s services to pay their respects to White, one of three athletic directors in the history of Old Mill High School.
“It was so refreshing to see how the students really, really cared for him,” Baker said. “So many of his former players were there,
as well as students who may have never even had him in a class.”
No decision has been made on White’s permanent successor. Martin has served as the assistant athletic director under White and is listed on the school’s website as the acting athletic director.