J. Myles White was born on Oct. 15, 1921, on the family homestead at Cold Springs, in the North Boulder River Valley of Jefferson County. After a lengthy struggle with emphysema, Myles passed away on April 7, 2011. Eldest son of Charles and Margaret (Dawson) White, Myles attended parochial grade school in Butte, graduating from Butte Central Christian Brothers High School in 1939.
In his senior year at Carroll College in Helena during World War II, Myles joined the V12 Navy officer training program and, after graduation, served as a Pharmacist Mate aboard the USS Clinton, a new, Haskell-class attack transport ship carrying Marines and replacement troops in the Pacific. The Clinton also moved Chinese troops and equipment to Chinwangtao Taku for the reoccupation of northern China.
After the war, Myles returned to Butte, was accepted to Loyola University in Chicago, graduating from the School of Dentistry in 1950. Returning to Montana, he and another young dentist answered the urgent call to serve at Warm Springs State Hospital, where 1,800 patients were in dire need of dental services. They served four years, and then established practices in Butte.
Uncertainty caused by the 1967 Butte miners' strike of the Anaconda Co., the longest in state history, inspired Myles to move further east, where he practiced dentistry in Miles City for 25 years, retiring in 1993, moving to Billings in 1999.
In retirement, Myles rekindled his high school orchestra skills, putting in many hours of practice, and then playing violin in the Miles City Community Orchestra and the Billings Community Orchestra. Music was a vital part of Myles' life, entertaining one and all with his rousing renditions of the golden oldies.
Myles' humanitarian work in retirement included two trips to missions in Mexico with Regina and his dentist brother-in-law, Dr. Byron Greany, to perform several weeks of service to people in remote villages.
He was a member of the Montana Dental Association and Delta Delta Sigma dental fraternity.
Myles was preceded in death by his youngest daughter, Cindy White Cameron. Survivors include his wife, Regina; daughters Mary Karen and Denny Marek, Billings, and Joy and Dan Tierney, Edmonds, Wash.; sons Charles White and Cindy Lund, Great Falls, Mark White, Montana City, and James White, Helena; son-in-law Chuck Cameron, Whitefish; grandchildren Nicole and Gregg Gross, Rob and Aimee Tierney, Matt Tierney and Lisa Tierney, Aaron White, Jon White, Daniel and Skylar Cameron; six great-grandchildren; and brother Lacey White of California.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, memorials may be made to NAMI-Billings, 1645 Avenue D, Suite G, Billings, MT 59102.
Myles' family would like to extend their appreciation to the PACE program located at Aspen Meadows for their compassionate care.
Cremation has taken place. Funeral mass will be held at St. Thomas Catholic Church on Monday, April 11, at 11 a.m. Interment will take place at a later date in the Deer Lodge Cemetery. Michelotti-Sawyer is in charge of arrangements. Remembrances may be shares with the family by visiting www.michelottisawyers.com.