Townie Tidbits

May 13, 2017
By

KATHRYN WHITE, 82, ALWAYS FIRST LADY OF BOSTON

The word ‹gracious› is always the first word that comes to my mind when I reflect on Kathryn White, the widow of Boston›s Mayor Kevin H. White. Hers was always as many have said a calm and steadying presence. Kathryn White, 82, and her husband were one of Boston›s forever power couples.. Her son Mark said of her, «She was drawn to him (Mayor White) because of his optimism and enthusiasm and he felt the same for her.»

Mayor White struggled with Alzheimers disease in the last decade of his life and Mrs. White was always there at his side as his best companion and greatest protector. Mayor Marty Walsh added, Kathryn White was an example of what it means to truly embody the spirit of Boston.

Kathryn White grew up an Galvin from Charlestown. Her father was City Councilor President William J. Galvin. She met the future mayor in the 1950s and they married in 1956. Ironically, Mayor White’s father Joseph White also served as City Council President too..

He ran and won the secretary of state’s position in 1960, serving three terms and fifty years ago this year ran for mayor in one of the most heated of all mayor’s races against Louise Day Hicks.

Always at his side helping him shape the New Boston of the 1970s that moved Boston on a course that has never stopped.

The last time I met her was at the Starbucks next to City Hall. It was just before the Columbus Day parade was about to begin. I walked up to them and started talking. All of a sudden it was 1967 all over again. He was 37 years old and I was only 19. Kathryn stood near him smiling as he and I talked about the old days in politics. His long term memory was still there and I watched the trademark Kevin White smile shine through. When we finished talking Mrs. White thanked me so much for making her husband laugh and smile if only for a few minutes. He had class and she had class. I think they should be build a statue of Kathryn White over in Adams Square next to her husband’s because they were so much a team. Couldn’t have one without the other.