Charles Keith White, a longtime teacher and coach for the Glendale Unified School District, died on Feb. 22 of respiratory failure. He was 81.

White, a Glendale native, started his teaching career at Clark Junior High School in the early 1950s. After a brief stint at Clark, he began teaching at Hoover High School and started a career that spanned more than 20 years.

He taught biology, life science and health and coached the baseball and football teams.

White was known as the type of teacher who was tough on his students but was also fun.

“One year I thought it would be fun to have him as a teacher, so I took a biology class one summer at Hoover High and I got to see firsthand what kind of teacher he was,” daughter Marilyn Bayles said. “I got a B and I should have gotten an A. He was tough.”

White was also a devoted family man, Bayles said. His schedule provided him the flexibility to spend time with his children and other youngsters in the community. Bayles remembered her father as being the first one who would volunteer to chaperon dances or go to Disneyland for grad night.

“He was able to go on all the youth trips,” Bayles said.

His colleagues remembered White as a caring, generous teacher who was loved by his students.

“He exuded warmth and a sense of caring,” said school board member Chuck Sambar, who worked with White for nearly 20 years at Hoover. “He was always so happy and so cheerful, bright and positive.”

After more than two decades teaching in the district, White became a chiropractor, setting up his office in La Crescenta. But even then, he continued to teach part time at Hoover High as he attended a chiropractic college in Pasadena.

“He decided he wanted to try something new,” Bayles said. “Years later, he continued to teach different classes and he never quit loving to teach.”

White was born on Nov. 23, 1926, at the Glendale Sanitarium. Ultimately, he was offered a scholarship to play football at UCLA and USC, but White chose USC.

He is survived by his three children, Chuck, Marilyn and Keith; stepchildren Phil, Phyllis, Beth, Jim and Matt; 27 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; and his brother, George Carlyle White.

A viewing and visitation will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4550 Raymond Ave., La Crescenta. A funeral service will be at 1 p.m. at the church.

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