Obituary | Ron White

· 3 min read

Obituary | Ron White

White, who is from New Orleans, prepares his family's traditional Louisiana recipes for the annual event.
Ron White prepares a dish for the 2020 Mardi Gras celebration in the East Campus Dining Facility. White, 52, was killed on April 10.

Ronald R. White, 52, assistant food service manager with Massengale Hall Dining Services, died April 10 in a single-vehicle crash.

White, who joined dining services at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2010, was passionate about sharing his family recipes with students and his background growing up in New Orleans.

A favorite of students, White led the East Campus dining center’s annual Mardi Gras celebration, incorporating his family’s traditional recipes into the meal lineup. Most recently, for the 2020 celebration, White crafted two custom meals, offering different Fat Tuesday options in lunch and dinner menus.

White was also responsible for annual grill out menus offered during the lunch hour in the summer months.

“Ron was truly part of our UNL family and he worked to build a sense of community among our students,” Charlie Francis, senior director of housing and dining services, said. “He loved sharing his New Orleans heritage and his Fat Tuesday spread had become a highlight of the year for East Campus diners.”

A selection of photos from the 2020 Mardi Gras celebration in the East Campus dining facility. (Clockwise, from top left) Katie Steffen, a junior from Beatrice, eats crawfish prepared for the Mardi Gras meal. The celebration included king cake, which is a Fat Tuesday tradition. Dishes featured during the special meal are family recipes provided by White, shown here smiling while moving a hot pan.

White was born Jan. 28, 1968 in New Orleans to Eli and Winifred (Clifton) White. He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Kelly White (Wilken) and their four children, Jackson, Victoria, Alexander and Nicholas; sisters, Wanda, Kim and Roshunda; brothers, Kent, Edwin and Eli; several in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews.

“It was easy to see how much he cared for students,” Francis said. “In fact, when we were designing the new East Campus Union dining facility, students asked for the cook to be visible to diners because they enjoyed interacting with Ron.

“We will miss him.”

A celebration of life is being planned and will be announced. Online condolences can be left for the family here.

.Kathryn Sildmets and Ron White dish up smoked mac and cheese (left) and New Orleans shrimp boil during a June 16, 2017 grill out.

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