Francis “Mike” White

Francis “Mike” White
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Francis Michael “Mike” White, 70, of Freeburg, IL, died Thursday, January 26, 2023, at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, O’Fallon, IL.

Mike was born August 30, 1952, in Streator, IL. He proudly grew up in Kinsman, Illinois (pop. 150) with his 2 brothers and 2 sisters. He attended Mazon High School and graduated in 1970. From 1970-1976 Mike worked as an operator for Dupont Chemical, and in 1976 he made the move to SIU Carbondale where he received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education graduating in 1980.

In 1980 he moved to Belleville, Il and started teaching at Wolf Branch school where he taught math, coached basketball, baseball, softball, track, and bowling. He met his wife Jane in 1984, and they were married in Kinsman, IL on August 1, 1987.

During his 32-year tenure at Wolf Branch, he was fortunate to coach his 2 daughters in various athletics including basketball, softball, and bowling. In 2012 he officially retired from Wolf Branch School. His love and passion for coaching endured after his retirement where he continued coaching his grandchildren’s teams. He loved to have hour long conversations breaking down stats and what offense to run on his 9-year-old granddaughter’s basketball team.

Mike loved his family, being Irish, coaching, Wolf Branch School, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bears, Notre Dame football, Dad jokes, and zingers.  He never knew a stranger and would have long conversations with people he just met.

Mike dedicated his life to teaching and molding children both in the classroom as well as on the court/field.  His memory lives on in all the lives he touched.

Thank you to Keith Padgett for taking the initiative and to Wolf Branch Middle School for naming the gymnasium floor “Mike White Court.” Our family will forever be grateful.



We consider ourselves blessed to have a spent our lives with him. His spirit will forever define the people we are and the people we hope to be.

He was preceded in death by his daughter in infancy, Mary White; his parents, Joseph and Alfreda “Vernadine”, nee Curran, White; a sister, Betty (Robert) Cheshareck; and two brothers-in-law, Mike (Susie) Schomber and Tom Schomber.

He is survived by his loving wife Jane, nee Schomber, White; four children, Todd (Jamie) Behrmann, Shaun (Michelle) Behrmann, Lauren (Micheal) Cruz, and Megan (Matt) Menn; six grandchildren, Ashley Behrmann, Wade Cruz, Alexandra Behrmann, Micah Cruz, Gabriel Cruz, and Isabel Cruz; one sister, Mary Lou (James) Mair; two brothers, Joseph (Cindy) White, and William (Colleen) White; a brother-in-law, Joe (Pat) Schomber; sister-in-law, Pat Hall; numerous nieces and nephews;

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the American Heart Association and the Wolf Branch PTA. Condolences may be expressed online at

The family would like to extend a special thanks to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Wolf Branch School, and Bob Kassembaum who never missed a visit and was always there for Mike.

Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, January ­­29, 2023, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday, January 30, 2023, at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, January 30, 2023, St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. William McGhee officiating.

Burial will be at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.


21 Comments on Francis “Mike” White

Tom Skora said : Guest Report Jul 09, 2023 at 12:23 PM

Mike and I went to SIU Carbondale at the same time. Met Mike in the dorm called "Boomer 2" in 1971. We had a tight knit group of some 6 guys in the dorm and went on to all live together in houses off campus for the next couple of years. We would hold parties at the house and play "oldies" throughout the night with a lot of dancing! This was before "Oldies" became popular! Mikes favorite song was "My Boyfriends Back" by the Angels. I also had the great honor of hanging out with Mike in his hometown of Kinsman. We had a lot of refreshments that nite! So many good times and stories with Mike. Will miss him. Im sure he's upstairs teaching angels the art of the basketball set shot!

  • DeKalb
  • IL
Heather Ganschinietz said : Guest Report Jul 03, 2023 at 8:47 AM

Mr. White was a great teacher, coach and person. I have many great memories being a student in his classes at WB. He truly loves what he did. So sorry for your loss. Heather Dougan Ganschinietz

  • Glen Carbon
  • IL
Jill O'Dell Arbini said : Guest Report Feb 06, 2023 at 12:46 PM

Mr. White was one of my favorite teachers. We shared a birthday, and I remember bringing him a birthday treat when he was my 8th grade homeroom teacher. He told the worst (and funniest) jokes. I'm so glad that he was a part of my life and my education at Wolf Branch.

  • St. Louis
  • Missoui
Sara (Fox) Myers said : Guest Report Feb 01, 2023 at 8:37 AM

Lauren and Megan, I am so sorry to hear the passing of your dad. What a wonderful man and coach he was. So many memories playing on the Comets for your dad. All the prayers and hugs to both of you. -Sara

  • Columbia
  • IL
Stephen Letsky said : Guest Report Jan 29, 2023 at 7:38 PM

I give my blessings to Mike’s family. I was a good student of his at WB pre-2000, dealt with his I’m n a great way during summers (and after his first heart issue) at Sundowners Pool, and tell my daughters the best things he taught us in school.

  • Normal
  • illinois
Brian Servos said : Guest Report Jan 29, 2023 at 2:07 PM

Mike was an excellent teacher, an outstanding coach, and a good friend. I have too many fond memories to mention but wanted the family to know how much he meant to me and how much he influenced the person I am today. He will be greatly missed by myself and all of my family. My condolences to all that knew him. He will be missed.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Becky Olroyd said : Guest Report Jan 29, 2023 at 1:29 PM

On behalf of the entire Olroyd family, I express our most sincere condolences on the death of Mr. White. Mike influenced not only our children (all adults now) but grandchildren as well. I pray that his family finds comfort and peace by the knowledge that he touched so many lives.

  • Swansea
  • IL
Maureen Biver said : Guest Report Jan 29, 2023 at 11:38 AM

You have our sincere sympathy Jane and family! May Mike RIP! Mark and Maureen Biver

  • Freeburg
  • IL
Donna Gabehart said : Guest Report Jan 29, 2023 at 10:32 AM

I'm so sorry to hear about Mike's passing. We used to run around together with the guys - Roy, Dan, Nick, and Chip. So much fun! I remember my boyfriend had broken my heart our senior year in Coal City and I didn't want to go to prom with anyone else. Mike was so sweet and asked me to go the one in Mazon to try and cheer me up. Sorry to say I didn't take him up on it. He was a good friend. It sounds like he never changed from the guy we all knew. You got a good one. God bless....Donna Gabehart (Sisk)

  • Gardner
  • IL
Liz Smallwood said : Guest Report Jan 28, 2023 at 4:35 PM

So very sorry for your loss, Jane. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  • Smithton
  • IL
Laura Zinck said : Guest Report Jan 28, 2023 at 2:16 PM

Jane my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

  • Mascoutah
  • Illinois
bethanne said : Guest Report Jan 28, 2023 at 2:02 PM

Jane, Very sorry to hear of your loss. Such a heartache to experience. Much love and hugs.

  • marissa
  • il
Kevin Bontemps said : Guest Report Jan 28, 2023 at 12:59 PM

Mike was a wonderful teacher, coach, and mentor to our three kids, Kal, Ty, and Lauren. We are grateful for the time we had him in our lives. We send our condolences to his beautiful family.

  • Swansea
  • Illinois
Kevin and Stephanie Bontemps said : Guest Report Jan 28, 2023 at 12:54 PM

Mike was an outstanding teacher, coach, and mentor to our three kids Kal, Ty, and Lauren. We witnessed firsthand how much he loved the students, staff, and parents at Wolf Branch. We are truly grateful for having him in our lives, and he will really be missed. He made us all feel like we were part of the big family. I believe that was the Irish and him – a huge heart and tremendous kindness. We send our condolences to his beautiful family. Please know you all are in our prayers.

  • Swansea
  • Illinois
Donna Erps said : Guest Report Jan 28, 2023 at 9:41 AM

So sorry for your loss Jane. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Ruma
  • Illinois
Cheri Campbell said : Guest Report Jan 28, 2023 at 8:33 AM

I still remember the day Tim Reeb called and said can you get Shannon up to the Soorts Plex now I have a team for her. The coach was Mike. He taught her so much about the game and pushed her to be better then she ever thought she could. The biggest gift was hiss way of truly caring for each player and their families. I am so sorry for your lass and will keep you all in my prayers to find comfort and peace at this unimaginable time.

  • Swansea
  • Illinois
Rhonda Goretzke said : Guest Report Jan 28, 2023 at 8:17 AM

Jane, I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.

  • Belleville
  • IL
June Benedick said : Guest Report Jan 28, 2023 at 5:23 AM

Jane, sending my sympathy to you and your family.

  • Swansea
  • State
Dean Mitts said : Guest Report Jan 27, 2023 at 8:55 PM

What an outstanding teacher, coach, and storyteller. Our daughters were so fortunate to have him as part of their education. One of my favorite quotes from Mike, “I always knew parents were crazy and once I had kids of my own I knew why”.

  • Swansea
  • Il
Shannon Morrow (Krypciak) said : Guest Report Jan 27, 2023 at 5:41 PM

I had Mr. White as a math teacher, softball, and basketball coach. He was always so kind and made the sports fun. My condolences to your family. I'm so sorry for everyone's loss.

  • St. Peters
  • MO
Gary and Jean Beggs said : Guest Report Jan 27, 2023 at 2:39 PM

Mike was an awesome teacher and coach. Both of our sons (Gary and Rob) attended classes and were coached by Mr. White. He was approachable, informed and fair. We wish to extend our sincere condolences to the family. He will be missed by all that knew him.

  • Swansea
  • Illinois

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