Sandy, Utah - Douglas Edward White, MD, age 57, died from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, at his home in Sandy, Utah. He was born on June 12, 1964 to Diane and Edward White. He spent the first 18 years of his life in Berea, Ohio. His formative years included being the middle brother of four active boys and babysitter for the youngest boy. These early years included going on house calls and making rounds on patients with Dad White at Southwest General Hospital on Sunday mornings after church.
Many winter Thursday nights during his pre-teen years were spent learning how to ski at the local hills in northeast Ohio with Dad and brothers. Summers were spent skateboarding with his brothers and the next door neighbors. Doug had many activities as a teenager including wrestling (3 yrs undefeated, lightweight class) at Berea High School. He and family also participated in the AFS Intercultural Program during high school which afforded Doug with an additional brother (and lifelong mate) for a year from New Zealand. In addition to his variety of extracurricular activities, Doug was also a stalwart student and graduated from Berea High School in 1982 as valedictorian of his class.
Doug then attended the College of Wooster, where he was a fraternity member of Beta Kappa Phi (???) and graduated in 1986. Among his many talents/interests in college was competitive platform diving and his taste in progressive music which was amplified by his many nights as a college radio disc jockey. This experience molded his taste in music for years to come. His membership in ??? afforded him with many life-long friends who he managed to keep up with over his entire lifetime.
Following a post baccalaureate year with a biomedical research company in Baltimore MD, Doug returned to Ohio in 1988 to attend the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Doug developed many cherished friendships among his classmates in med school. It was while he was at CWRU that he met his sweetheart and life companion, Melissa Erb. Doug took an interim year off in 1991 to specialize in medical pathology and finished his MD in 1993.
Upon graduation from medical school, Doug followed in his father's footsteps when he was accepted into the Family Medicine Residency program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Shadyside Hospital. A break from the fast-paced life of medical residency came in the form of an opportunity to spend some time as an assistant physician in the Semester at Sea Program. The voyage legs Doug and Melissa were able to experience included ports of call in Kyoto, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Doug also pursued a Fellowship in Sports Medicine and finished his training in 1996.
With a penchant for new experiences and places, Doug accepted a position as Family Physician at Intermountain Healthcare South Sandy Health Center where he built a thriving family medicine practice for 25 years. A highlight of his interest in sports medicine included a position as the Salt Lake City team physician for the 2001 Figure Skating Championships, Short Track Speed Skating, World Cup Events in 2001 and 2003 US Olympic Skating Team and the Short Track Speed Skating during the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics. Doug also served as Team physician for Jordan High School Football in Sandy, 1998-2009.
Doug had a fondness for many solo sports, which of course, included winter snow skiing. By this time in his life he had developed a distinct specialization in off-piste tree skiing and double black diamonds. To fill the summer months, Doug took up mountain biking on the many trails of Utah. Though astute at his trail riding, Doug did require extra medical attention on occasion following wrong turns or encounters with local wildlife. Though Doug thoroughly enjoyed the alpine environments of Utah, he was a Northern Ohio citizen at heart and enjoyed a lifelong commitment to the Cleveland Browns and Cavaliers.
He is survived by his mother (E. Diane White; Edward C White, MD passed in 2019) and his brothers, Fletcher, Fred and Jon White; his wife Melissa and their two children, Morgan and Isabella.
Diagnosed with ALS in early 2021, Doug was an indomitable spirit, trapped in a body that betrayed him. ALS may have caused his death but it never defeated him. At Doug's request, there will be no formal service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Team Gleason Foundation, PO Box 24493. New Orleans, LA 70184 (@teamgleason.org). The mission of Team Gleason Foundation is to improve life for people living with ALS by delivering innovative technology and equipment, as well as providing and empowering an improved life experience.
Join us in a celebration of Doug's life Monday, November 29th, from 6 pm to 8 pm, at the Lone Peak Pavillion, 10140 South 700 East, Sandy, Utah.