Earl Lee White Jr., a retired aviation radar technician and resident of Springs, died at home on March 26. He was 84 and had been ill for some time.
Mr. White and his brother Gerald, with whom he shared their Fireplace Road house, had lived here part time since 1966; they became year-round residents in 2001. Their father, said Gerald White, found the property by chance in 1963 after responding to an ad for land in The New York Times but not caring for what he was shown. He drove up North Main Street to look around, kept on going to Three Mile Harbor Road, and saw a For Sale sign “way out” on Fireplace, Mr. White said.
Father and sons came out from New Rochelle, N.Y., nearly every Sunday to cut trees and brush and work on what would be a weekend house, he said — a process that lasted about three years.
Like his father, Earl White Jr. was good with his hands. “He could fix anything,” his brother said. He kept a vegetable garden, and the brothers eventually built a second house nearby as a rental investment.
Earl Jr. was “quiet, modest, had a dry sense of humor,” his brother said. “Everybody loved him.”
He was born on May 5, 1929, in Charlotte, N.C., to Earl Lee White and the former Anna-Louise Leech. After the Depression, the family moved to Jersey City, N.J., and later to New Rochelle, where Mr. White graduated from Isaac E. Young High School.
He served in the Air Force from 1950 to 1954, where he was trained in radar systems and taught recruits about their inner workings. He was stationed overseas in Japan and Korea and was in Vietnam years before the war there began. Later, he worked for Lockheed Aircraft at Idlewild Airport (now J.F.K.), and for A.R.R., a Jersey City aviation firm. He retired in 1961.
Another brother, Charles Kenneth White, died before him. In addition to his brother Gerald, he is survived by a nephew.