Sept. 16, 1941 – Dec. 19, 2015
Thomas Peterson White, an audiologist who helped upgrade the standards for hearing treatment, died Dec. 19 in Florida after a lengthy illness. He was 74.
Born in Three Rivers, Mich., he grew up in Fort Wayne, Ind. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University, where he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
He began his career teaching audiology at Morehead State College in Fargo, N.D., and came to Buffalo on the recommendation of one of his Indiana University professors who joined the faculty at the University at Buffalo.
He was introduced to prominent otolaryngologist Dr. Irwin Ginsburg, for whom he became principal audiologist at Buffalo Otological Group, and to Derrick Sanders of the Speech and Communications Department at UB, where he became a clinical assistant professor of audiology.
Mr. White ran the Audiological Department at Buffalo Otological Group and became coordinator of the cochlear implant program in 1985.
He traveled with Dr. Ginsburg throughout Europe to research the cochlear program.
In 1981, he founded Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo, a not-for-profit agency that offers doctors of audiology as providers of hearing aids instead of commercial hearing aid stores.
Although he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1989, he remained active, graduating with the first executive master’s of business administration class at UB in 1996, and traveling the world. He retired with Hearing Evaluation Services and Buffalo Otological Group in 1999 and retired from UB in 2000.
He was a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and the American Academy of Audiology.
An avid runner, skier and sailor, he was a member of the Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club. All of his sailboats were named Hot Fudge.
A longtime Amherst resident, he recently moved to a home near Naples, Fla.
Survivors include his wife of 17 years, Marilyn; his mother, Gertrude Peterson White; a brother, Robert; a sister, Marie; four stepsons, Todd O’Bryan, Michael O’Bryan, Erik O’Bryan and Sean O’Bryan; and six grandchildren.