It is with heavy hearts that we, the family of Paul Joseph White, announce his passing on Friday, June 10, 2022 at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Sydney. Paul was born in 1948 in Inverness and moved to New Waterford where his father worked in the coal mines. The White family migrated throughout different areas of New Waterford finally settling on May Street in Scotchtown. Throughout this time, Paul formed friendships that lasted his whole life. Paul attended school in New Victoria. The school principal could see that he wasn’t interested in academics and suggested taking a trade. They spoke while sharing a pop and bag of chips and concluded that auto mechanics was for him. That day became a turning point in what would define his life. His career as a mechanic began at the K-Mart Auto Center where he would weld racing dumps on hotrods and service police cars. He loved rebuilding engines and autobody; he was a V-eight Chevy man to his core. Later he was employed at Bob Hines repairing cars, commercial trucks and motorcycles. He finally found his calling, working for 17 years for DEVCO as a diesel mechanic at the Lingan and Phalen collieries. Paul would often custom make parts and fix machinery to keep the mine in production. He was devoted, answering callouts all hours of the night to repair equipment so the men could continue to cut coal. He was deeply respected by his fellow miners for his ability to repair anything on tires, tracks or rails. He would often walk into a level with a bag of tools on his shoulder and return driving the locomotive out. Dad supported the miners union and was very vocal for what he thought was right. The miners nicknamed him Meatloaf. Then there was his music. His passion for music formed at an early age. As a kid he would hitch-hike to Sydney to look at guitars through a music shop window then hitch-hike home empty handed. His first guitar only had two strings. He would joke that his first band was so bad they had to change their name every week in order to sell tickets. Years of practice and passion for music evolved into him forming one of the most recognized bands in the area, Tapestry. His band sold out local establishments, packed school gymnasiums and hockey rinks. He said his band would always high-5 before a sold out show. He loved playing at The Heather because of the acoustics. He would turn his amp stacks on full volume and “try to peel the paint off the walls” playing lead guitar. Upon announcing his retirement from Tapestry, he received a standing ovation from a sold out Mount Carmel gymnasium, which resulted in his bandmates nicknaming him Paulie O, (Paulie Ovation), for all of his years entertaining the public with music. Throughout the years he extended his love of music to playing at weddings and the St. Michael’s children choir. Years later he would join The Men of the Deeps and receive an Honorary Doctorate from Cape Breton University. He was a published songwriter, his favorites include - Christmas in the Mine, You’re in Nova Scotia Now and Today they Took a Friend from the Mine. Fellow miners will never forget the Christmas tape he made, playing his guitar while his buddy Space Cadet sang over the underground intercom, taking a shot at DEVCO Management. People enjoyed Paul’s numerous Letters to the Editor, Radio Talk Back and his weekly column in the Community Press sharing coal mining stories. He dedicated his life to giving his children everything he couldn’t have as a kid. Always repairing bikes, singing to them on their birthdays, even building an entire skateboard park in his yard for all the neighborhood kids. Paul loved his wife, children, grandchildren, siblings and family. Surviving are his wife, Ruth (Purdy); daughter, Allyson; sons, Jason (Joann), Randy (Chrissy), Andrew (Lindsay); brother, Roger; sister, Geraldine; grandchildren, Tylor, Mia, Chloe, Ellis, Darian, Cameron, Molly, Ryleigh; great-grandchildren, Faye, Athena; mother, Mary Ann (Poirier). Paul was predeceased by his father, Gerald and brother, Gerald. He was so appreciative of everyone who took the time to visit him and the care and compassion he received from his many VON ‘nurse girlfriends’ and the ICU nurses. Our dad spent his final hours at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital with his devoted wife of 55 years, his family by his side and listening to his favorite Bachman Turner Overdrive (4WD) and The Beatles. WTFD. Cremation has taken place. A visitation will be held on Friday, June 17, 2022, from noon until the time of the service at 2 p.m. all in V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home Chapel, 380 Smith Street, New Waterford with Rev. Duncan Roach officiating. Donations in his memory may be made to the Canadian Red Cross or VON. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at: www.vjmcgillivray.ca.
Friday, June 17, 2022
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
V.J McGillivray Funeral Homes - New Waterford Location
380 Smith Street
New Waterford, Nova Scotia, Canada