White Dr Francis (Frank) Richard & Mary Elizabeth (Beth)

From Gawler History
Jump to: navigation, search
Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 18-7-1927
Place of birth Mt Gambier


Date of death 1-9-2012
Place of decease Concordia

Frank White was born in Mount Gambier, a second son for Bill and Mary (nee Purvis), when Bill was stationed as a policeman in Penola.

Frank’s next move was to Caltowie in the mid north where he began his schooling. Caltowie is a cold spot, and Frank told the story of gathering ice from water troughs around town with a friend, then trying to sell it to the local housewives. The young boys couldn’t understand why no one was interested, there weren’t many ice chests around at that time.

The family transferred to Barmera for five years, and then shifted to Tanunda where Frank completed Primary School. After two years at Nuriootpa High School, he moved to Rostrevor College as a boarder. He always spoke fondly of his boarding years there.

Whilst studying Dentistry at Adelaide University, Frank was impressed by some of his fellow students, in particular the older returned soldiers who were determinedly forging new lives post the Second World War. They graduated as a group in 1950. This group of men kept in contact with regular lunch gatherings. During Frank’s university years he was a keen footballer. He played for Tanunda and was a member of the 1947 premiership team.

Frank practiced at Port Lincoln for two years, then after spending two and a half years at the Franciscan Seminary in the eastern states he returned to South Australia, and purchased a dental practice in Gawler.

In 1956 he married Beth Smart and over the next thirteen years they had seven children – Jane, Anne, Andrew, Cathy, Peter, Chris and Celine.

Frank remained active in community and church affairs until retiring from dentistry in 1987. During this time he was a member of Gawler Apex Club [and was awarded Life Membership], District Governor of Apex, Charter President of Gawler Lions Club, District Commissioner of Scouts, and President of the Gawler Golf Club when the new course was established at Sandy Creek.

Frank’s Church activities included being Chairperson of the first Parish Council, Chairperson of the first planned giving programme, and Chairperson of St Brigid’s School Board. He was also actively involved in the establishment of the Christian Book Shop in the Gawler Arcade.

His community involvement continued into his later years in his work with Fred’s Van, and up until very recently, Meals on Wheels.

Frank gained much satisfaction from numerous family building projects; the most significant of which was the construction of their new home at Concordia in 1988. Frank loved living in his own patch of paradise where he enjoyed daily walks and many family barbecues with his ever-growing family. Frank remained living at Concordia in peace until his death.

Please click here for photos of Frank White.

It was very sad to learn that Fránk's wife Mary Elizabeth [Beth] passed away at age 87 on 27th December 2020. Her funeral was conducted at the St Peter and St Paul Gawler Catholic Church at 11am on Monday 4th January 2021. Beth born 21-2-1933 and died 27-12-2020.

Click on the photos for Beth's funeral booklet. .


Frank White
Frank White
Francis Richard (Frank) White
Francis Richard (Frank) White
Beth White - page 1
Beth White - page 1
Gawler Apex Life Members 1983.  Life Members of the club who attended were:Left to right: Ivan Chamberlain, Eric Schulze, Frank White, Bob Parham, Colin Feist, Colin Smith and Rick Gordon.
Gawler Apex Life Members 1983. Life Members of the club who attended were:Left to right: Ivan Chamberlain, Eric Schulze, Frank White, Bob Parham, Colin Feist, Colin Smith and Rick Gordon.
Beth White - page 11
Beth White - page 11


Memories of White Dr Francis (Frank) Richard & Mary Elizabeth (Beth)

Kurt remembers: My holiday with frank and the family back in 2004. He was my namesake and was such a big hearted man who never seem to miss my birthday every year. Anyway if there maybe anyway i could contact grandbeth or the family please get in contact with me on kurt_koroi@y7mail.com.

Do you remember White Dr Francis (Frank) Richard & Mary Elizabeth (Beth) ? Then Join up and add your memory here.