Remembering Wayne White: Crime scene detective left a lot of marks on Terrebonne

Letters to the editor: Victims are people, not stats
December 16, 2014
TPSD students gracious in donations
December 16, 2014
Letters to the editor: Victims are people, not stats
December 16, 2014
TPSD students gracious in donations
December 16, 2014

Lots of people are involved with making memories for others with guided fishing trips in the bayou country, and lots of others just fish or hunt on their own.

But Wayne White had a very special way of helping people look back on the good times they had, by preserving the fish or game they came back with.

His Dec. 5 death shocked those who knew him. Some take comfort in the knowledge that Wayne was doing something he loved at the time, fishing with his wife Gloria in Cocodrie, when a massive heart attack occurred, though that certainly does not erase the pain of loss.

As a law enforcement officer and amateur chef, father, grandfather, son and brother, Wayne strove to do his best, they said, and if he missed the mark sometimes, there was a reputation he earned for somehow making it right.

“He had a passion for doing the very best job he could do with everything he did,” said Terrebonne Water Patrol Lt. Mike Ledet, who is also a charter-fishing captain. “He mounted many fish for many of my customers. He also loved to fish and had bought a new boat so that he was able to share what he loved with his family.”

Sheriff Jerry Larpenter knew Wayne from the time they both attended Houma Junior High. And while he laments losing a member of his crime scene unit, Larpenter is even more profoundly affected by the loss of a good friend.

“I am going to miss him,” said the sheriff, whose most prized hunting trophies were done by Wayne. “He could take anything and make it look like it was full of life. We have taxidermists in the area who are all great. And I would say he was in the top three. He could do any kind of animal, from a bear all the way down to a sac-au-lait.”

Larpenter said Wayne approached his job as an investigator seriously and that he kept up with the latest training in his specialty.

He first worked for the sheriff’s office in 1979, Larpenter said. Later on he did some work for the Houma City Marshal and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. He has also worked as a camera operator for local television station HTV, and done independent film projects with his brother, Rory.

Chiropractor Rory White, one of three younger brothers Wayne left behind – his other brothers are Kent and Timmy – recalls him as a mentor and guide.

“I really looked up to him and at key points of life he kept me out of trouble,” Rory said. “He was a stabilizing influence for people he knew.”

He also knew how to have a good laugh, Rory and others said. Rory particularly remembers when Wayne was just a teenager, working on his taxidermic pursuits. A newly-preserved water moccasin was left under a pile of clothes in the laundry room, causing a lot of excitement when it was discovered by a housekeeper.

His role as a guide was also remembered by daughter Candace, a make-up artist who now lives in Baton Rouge.

“He was a great man,” she said. “He had his ups and downs, but he was always there for me.”

His other daughter’s name is Nicole. Wayne’s other children are include Jason Paul, Adam Joseph and Jonathan Easton White; two other sons, Juan and Sebastian, and step-daughters Maria Fernanda, Daniela and Silvia.

He took all of his children fishing, and being out on the water with her father is among Candace’s strongest and best memories. “He was so creative, he couldn’t stick to one thing for too long and did lots of things, but he was always dependable.”

Candace White on the water with her father, Wayne White, who taught her to fish. The fish he is displaying are the first ones she ever caught.