In Memoriam

The Bond Between Brothers

J. Stanley White

My brother, J. Stanley White, passed away June 7th. Stan and I were both born in Detroit, Michigan and he was nine years my senior. We moved to California when I was about six because our mother had lung trouble and needed a warm, dry climate. Stan was very bright, did well in school, and was president of the first graduating class at San Fernando Valley State College, which is now California State University, Northridge. He played the banjo at that time and his inspirations were Peter Paul and Mary and The Kingston Trio.

When I got into Yoga, and was staying at the Sivananda Ashram in Canada, I sent glowing letters to Stan sharing my excitement. He got so inspired that he packed up his whole family with two young children and flew them all to the ashram. When it was time for them to return, he convinced the swami to send me to Los Angeles to start a yoga center there. Stan donated the first two months’ rent.

My brother had an illustrious career. He earned his doctorate in psychology and became a professor. He was also interested in Eastern philosophy and arranged a two-year teaching assignment at the American International School in New Delhi, India. The first time I visited him there, unbeknownst to me, he had arranged a private railway car to take the graduating classes to Rishikesh, Himalayas, guided by yours truly—even though I had never been there.

Stan was a former Board member of the White Lotus Foundation and remained a Board member, emeritus.

As I write this In Memoriam, the reality is still very fresh. Although Stan's passing was expected these last few weeks, endings are surreal. For the last few years, we tried to speak by phone on most Sundays. Our calls had become part of a rhythm of shared remembrances, laughter at things relevant to our brotherhood, and a sense of time passing. Some trains of thought didn't always hold up over the phone, but that's not what mattered in the space between us. We were sharing something intangible and unseen. The bond between brothers. 

Stan is survived by his wife, Deborah, daughter, Amy, and son, Michael.