By Kathryn Black
MIDDLEBORO, MASS. – With the passing of Helen White on November 27, the antiques community lost an angel. That is especially true for White’s Auctions in Middleboro and for the entire White family.
Helen White was a fixture – and I mean that in a good way – at White’s Auctions for nearly 25 years. She was a soldier; a selfless, hard worker; a protector and a cheerleader for us. Her suggestions and opinions, though not always accepted by a somewhat stubborn son, auctioneer John P. White, were always genuinely sought.
Helen enjoyed it all. She enjoyed putting together hundreds of coins into lots at her kitchen table with her curious cat looking on. She especially liked the postcards and trade cards she lovingly arranged in albums for sale. It was a step back to a simpler, more peaceful time for her, I think. She loved coming to the gallery often to see what new “stuff” had come in, to enjoy a muffin and a coffee in her special cup. She especially loved art glass. Being an accomplished artist herself, she took great interest in paintings and let you know what she thought was “good” and “not so.”
It will be hard to not to miss her spunk and charisma in the salesroom, where she skillfully executed left bids for every auction since 1993. Helen loved to banter back and forth with her son, the auctioneer. He would ask for a bid. She would say, “You’re not going to get it!”
Helen was not just important to White’s Auctions, the entire White family and her “adopted” family, but to all the customers who came to the auctions all these years always asking for “Mom.” Some even brought her flowers. She had something of a well-deserved fan club. Helen White was “Mom” to everyone, not just her six kids (no small task!), but even to the musicians and actors at the Black and White Theatre back in the 1990s.
With all the hours and work and support Helen gave to us at White’s Auctions, she would never accept a dime. Her “pay” was John taking her to the casino after the auctions…and maybe even in between…why not! By the way, Helen had a sixth sense somewhere in her DNA. She was quite lucky in divesting the casino of a few bucks here and there. But for her and John it was just fun and special time together.
All of us who knew and loved her, and were lucky to be part of that circle of love, feel the loss but know how lucky we are to have had Helen White in our lives and in “our corner.” She was such an important “spoke in the wheel” on so many levels, though she would humbly deny it. Helen White will be sorely missed, but always loved. Thanks, Mom.
Helen M. (Dann) White, 89, of Middleboro, Mass., was the wife of the late John J. “Jake” White. She is survived by her son John P. White and his wife, Kathryn; as well as a sister, a second son, three daughters, 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.