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The Dartmouth
April 23, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

‘Always in a good mood’: Joshua White remembered for his dedication and kindness

Joshua White, an IT support analyst at the Tuck School of Business, loved cooking, gaming and his family.

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Every Christmas, Joshua White toiled over his beloved chocolate and peanut butter treats — affectionately known as “Joshy Balls” — to distribute to his friends and family, White’s cousin Loren Hudson recalled. As White spent hours on the dessert, Hudson, Hudson’s daughters and countless other loved ones eagerly anticipated his famous treat. 

White loved to cook, and his hours in the kitchen were an expression of love for those around him, Hudson said. 

“He made 400 to 1,000 [Joshy Balls],” Hudson said. “He had so many friends. He wanted to give everybody 10 to 20 of these. He didn’t want to give me just 10 or 20 — I’ve got a bunch of kids. So, it was 10 for Ava, 10 for Violet, 10 for Olive, 10 for Bri [and] 10 for me.”

Joshua White, an IT support analyst at the Tuck School of Business from York, ME, died on March 15 following a battle with a rare form of stomach cancer, according to his obituary in the Valley News. He was 35 years old. 

After earning a degree in information technology from York Community College, White began work as an information technology support analyst at the Geisel School of Medicine in 2011. After five years at Geisel, he relocated to Tuck Business School, where he worked as a support analyst alongside Hudson. 

Hudson said that White’s interest in cooking sprouted from his profound creativity and keen problem-solving mindset. White applied these skills to all areas of his life, from playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons to his work in IT support, Hudson added.   

“He was a masterful cook,” Hudson said. “If there’s a recipe, [IT workers] can follow it. It’s one of the reasons we’re good at technology. Give me a 300-page… article, and I can read it and implement it … That works out with cooking as well.”

White’s fondness for cooking dated back to his high school and college days, when he worked for Ruby’s Wood Grill in York. According to restaurant owner Carle Brown, White worked for the restaurant for around seven years and eventually became a cook. He was incredibly talented at making pizza and “did whatever we needed him to do,” Brown said.

“[He was] the best type of employee you could hope to have, and just a great guy too,” Brown said. “[Josh was] always in a good mood…, always ready to go when he got here and always had a lot of ideas. He was obviously very smart and a joy to have around.”

According to Hudson, White loved working at Dartmouth and was an extremely dedicated employee who “didn’t complain.” In the time that other workers on his team did five technology repairs, White would complete 70, Hudson added. 

“He would show up at 7 a.m. every morning — work started at 8 [a.m.],” Hudson said. “He’d be sitting and ready, and he’d open the desk — for years. When he left, it was 5:30 p.m. He only had to work until 5 [p.m.], but he’d always stay 30 minutes late for a student that was looking for help.”

White’s eagerness to help others began at a young age, according to White’s mother Monica White. Growing up, White spent his childhood watching his mother tend to their garden, where he earned the nickname “Joshy Bug” — a nod to his habit of pointing out different insects. The nickname eventually embarrassed White in adolescence, his mother recounted. 

She added that White maintained a positive attitude even in bad times.

“[Josh was] always happy [and] never complained when he was sick,” Monica White said. “He could have a fever and you would never know it. [I] almost think he was a saint, if you believe in that type of stuff. He never ever demanded anything.”

Beyond his family, White held a special love for gaming — including Dungeons and Dragons, Nintendo and card games.

“[You] couldn’t beat him,” Hudson said. “But he was always very humble about it. It didn’t matter if Josh had never seen the game. He looked through the rules and then they’d play, and nine out of ten times he would win… He just could think so many steps ahead.”

Prior to and during his cancer diagnosis, White raised money for children’s cancer research by entering gaming competitions such as Extra Life, in which he gamed for 24-hours straight. 

White’s father Patrick White added that gaming was his son’s way of connecting with the outside world. He and his son shared a love of quiet and solitude, he added. 

“Everyone loved him,” he said. “I never saw him have a problem with anyone.”

White’s dedication and positive mindset persisted even as he battled cancer. He rarely took pain-relieving medications and there was “no crying,” Hudson said. 

Even when Hudson encouraged White to spend his last days living out lifelong dreams, White kept saving money and “giving half of his paycheck to his future,” Hudson said. White dreamed of getting a mango-colored Dodge Charger with all-wheel drive — “because it’s practical,” Hudson added. 

“I was just like, ‘you’re insane dude,’” Hudson said. “‘You should just take your time and go to Japan.’”

Hudson said he lived with White in a house they built together. White always prioritized the family and maintained a close relationship with Hudson’s children and wife, Hudson added.  

A celebration of life for White will be held at noon on May 7 at 4313 Quechee Main Street, White River Junction, VT.