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Stamford's Douglas White, 69, Inspired Others To Help The Disabled

Dougie White was a well-known resident of the Turn of River section of Stamford. He died Wednesday at the age of 69.
Dougie White was a well-known resident of the Turn of River section of Stamford. He died Wednesday at the age of 69. Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. — Douglas "Dougie" Edward White, who was well-known as the Mayor of Stamford, Ghost Master and Batman as he famously rode his bike around the city, died Dec. 30. He was 69. 

He was born Feb. 11, 1947, to Francis Edward and Mary Ellen (Hunt) White.

Born at a time when individuals with disabilities and their families had few options, White was a driving force for his father and mother to bring about change. His father, Francis E. White, campaigned and served on boards at all levels of government to ensure individuals with disabilities had legal protections, the right to an education, and access to the community and vocational opportunities. 

Francis E. White also was one of the founders of the nonprofit Always Reach for Independence of Connecticut, established in in 1952 and based in Stamford. ARI enriches the lives of people with disabilities and their families by enabling them to achieve their fullest potential at home, at work, and in the community. Dougie was a part of the ARI community and worked for ARI until his recent retirement. 

Dougie White is survived by his nephew and caregiver, Matthew Manka and his wife Dina of Stamford; his niece, Jennifer Robichaud and her husband Ron of Westbrook, Maine; nephew, Michael Manka Jr. and wife Nicole of Newtown; niece, Melissa and her partner Matthew of Belvidere, Vt.; and many grandnieces and grandnephews. 

He was predeceased by his father, Francis White; mother, Mary (Hunt) White; sister, Marilyn (White) Manka; and brother-in-law, Michael Manka Sr.

Calling hours will be Monday, Jan. 4, from 4 to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 5, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Myrtle Ave., Stamford. 

A procession will leave the funeral home at noon for a 12:30 p.m. service at the Stamford Church of Christ, 1264 High Ridge Road, Stamford. Interment will follow at Queen of Peace Cemetery, Rockrimmon Road. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the GoFundMe campaign titled Douglas White's Funeral Expenses to assist the family in covering his medical and funeral expenses. Contributions that exceed these needs will be donated to Always Reaching for Independence of Connecticut.

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