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Michael White, Popular Art Teacher In Hudson Valley, Dies At 33

Michael White
Michael White Photo Credit: Contributed

Michael Anthony White, a lifelong resident of the City of Poughkeepsie, died on Wednesday, Dec. 20. He was 33.

Michael was a vibrant, kind and passionate artist who treasured and held dear the city of Poughkeepsie and all its artistic possibilities. He shared his art freely and always wanted to be able to have children use art to express their character and feelings. He saw all of Poughkeepsie and its people as his subjects and canvas. His community held endless possibilities for him to create.

He was the son of Katherine White of Poughkeepsie and the late Norman White of St. Louis. He was born at Vassar Hospital in Poughkeepsie on Aug. 3, 1984. He was baptized at St. Mary’s Church in Poughkeepsie.

He started school in the City of Poughkeepsie school district at Morse School, moved onto Smith School, Poughkeepsie Middle School and then graduated from Poughkeepsie High School in June 2002. He attended Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and completed his master’s degree at SUNY New Paltz. He was certified in NYS as a Visual Arts teacher. He taught art in Poughkeepsie and Newburgh school districts.

He was very involved in creating community art throughout Poughkeepsie. He painted numerous murals around the city and often in collaboration with his mentor Nestor Madealengoitia. Michael was most proud of his mural at the Poughkeepsie High School football field.

In addition, his involvement in the art community included membership in the Barrett Art Center, where he began taking art lessons at age 5. He always participated in the 100 for 100 Barrett Art Center Gala fundraiser. He was involved in the Dutchess County Arts Council and participated in the Mural Square Project. He was a frequent exhibitor at the Howland Art Center for African American Artists in the Hudson Valley. Michael was the first recipient of the Dutchess County Executive Art Award for Youth with Exceptional Promise in the Arts.

Michael is survived by his mother, Katherine, and his beloved brother Patrick. In addition, he is survived by his aunt Nancy Melilli; uncle Tony Melilli; grandmother Betty White; aunt Marvina White; uncle Arnold Rampersad; aunt Vanessa Hare; and his cousins Felicia, Brianna and Olivia Melilli, Sarah and Diane Hare, Luke Rampersad and Anikah McLaren. His grandmother Marie Hare, aunt Susan Hare and uncle Bob Hare predeceased Michael.

Funeral arrangements are under the care of William G. Miller & Son Funeral Home, 371 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie. Calling hours will be on Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The funeral mass will be held Thursday, Dec. 28 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church.

Donations may be made in Michael’s memory to the Barrett House: Barrett Art Center, 55 Noxon Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, 845.471.2550 www.barrettartcenter.org .

For directions or to send online condolences, visit www.wmgmillerfuneralhome.com .

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