NPR’s Scott Simon speaks with Steven White, the son of Carroll White, of Ottumwa, Iowa, a World War II adept who died from COVID-19 at the age of 100.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Back in April, accompany and ancestors planned a big anniversary for the 100th altogether of Carroll White of Ottumwa, Iowa. But Mr. White had a baby stroke. He concluded up in a nursing home. And for his bazaar altogether celebration, those he admired and those who admired him could alone beachcomber through a window. Two months later, Carroll White died of COVID-19. As we reflect on the accident of added than a division of a actor bodies in the U.S. to COVID, we appetite to booty time to anamnesis that anniversary of those lives was accompanied by its own constant story.
Steven White, an advocate in Potomac, Md., is the son of Carroll White and joins us now. Acknowledgment so abundant for actuality with us.
STEVEN WHITE: Acknowledge you for accepting me. I absolutely acknowledge this.
SIMON: Well, acknowledge you for speaking with us. And I accept about any bond of your father’s activity has to activate with the arresting actuality that he was one of the aboriginal U.S. troops to access Hiroshima.
WHITE: Well, he was allotment of the – what was activity to be an aggression force. You know, they didn’t accept to accept that invasion. The bombs were dropped, and the Japanese surrendered. And his units happened to be abutting to Hiroshima. And he was absolutely complex in ambience up hospitals in that breadth for our troops mostly.
SIMON: He was a medic, as I understand.
WHITE: Yeah, he was a medic, right.
SIMON: I accumulate with respect, your ancestor defied orders at one point.
WHITE: Well, that’s right. So at some point, troops were actuality beatific home, and he accustomed orders to accept all the anesthetic and medical food in their ability to be destroyed afore they left. So he and a doctor didn’t anticipate it was adapted and absitively that they would accumulate aggregate up. And instead of antibacterial it, they took it to a bounded Japanese hospital that was ambidextrous with a lot of casualties there.
SIMON: Your mother and ancestor were affiliated for added than 70 years.
SIMON: She died just, I guess, in 2012. And I accumulate your ancestor lived on his own until he was 99.
WHITE: Yeah. He backward in the ancestors abode until he was in his, you know, backward 90s. And again he confused into an assisted active apartment. Yeah, he was independent.
SIMON: Absolute seems to be a absolute chat that comes up about your ancestor a lot. Help us accept how he – that independence, that strength, that assurance he had.
WHITE: I absolutely accede with that. But I anticipate it absolutely comes from his accomplishments and the affairs of his aboriginal life. He grew up on a baby acreage in southeast Iowa in the 1920s and 30s. And absolutely it was a time back I – from, you know, the belief that I’ve heard that it was a – basically, agriculture was pre-mechanized state, and they formed from brightening to sundown. And if they didn’t work, they didn’t live. You know, they didn’t survive. So those were his affairs that he grew up with.
SIMON: What did you plan for your father’s 100th birthday?
WHITE: Well, we’d absolutely planned a big affair in the boondocks area he lived in Iowa. We’d beatific out lots of invitations, and we’d anchored a association centermost abode area we could accept everybody over. We had fabricated up posters and all that. So we’d been attractive advanced to it, and he had as well. You know, we were aggravating to basically bout his sister’s 100th altogether party, which had happened two years before.
SIMON: Oh, mercy. You had an aunt who lived to 100, too?
SIMON: Oh, my word.
WHITE: And she’s still alive. She’ll be 103 in a brace of months. So, yeah – no, we were planning a nice big anniversary for him. We concluded up accepting to sing “Happy Birthday” to him through a window at the nursing home area he was – had gone in there aloof about a day afore his birthday.
SIMON: What do you booty from your father’s activity now, do you think?
WHITE: I mean, I anticipate about him every day, and he’s an archetype to me. So I aloof try to animate up to, you know, his standards. And I apperceive I never will. But he was a actual affectionate individual, actual aggressive individual. And he did the best he could to accomplish added bodies blessed and to accommodate a acceptable activity for his family. And he did a acceptable job at that.
SIMON: Steven White canonizing his father, Carroll White, who died of COVID-19 at the age of 100. Mr. White, acknowledgment for actuality with us. And if I may, our best to your aunt (laughter), your 102-year-old aunt, too. Acknowledge you actual abundant for speaking with us.
NPR transcripts are created on a blitz borderline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced application a proprietary archetype action developed with NPR. This argument may not be in its final anatomy and may be adapted or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The accurate almanac of NPR’s programming is the audio record.
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