Lee Chaverin White


Lee Chaverin White, born Sept. 19, 1931, passed away on April 13, 2020. A resident of both Sarasota, Florida, and Chautauqua, New York, Lee was born in Evanston, Illinois. She was a graduate of the University of Illinois in Speech and Theater. Her first job was as Post Entertainment Director with Army Special Services, producing and directing soldier shows on four Army posts during the Korean Conflict. 

While a Secret Service wife in the Eisenhower administration, Lee began her extensive print and runway modeling career. She taught modeling, and personal and professional development courses for teens and adults most of her life. 

As a trustee of the Sarasota Opera Board of Directors, Lee created and for 10 years chaired the Opera’s Speakers Bureau, raising awareness and generating ticket sales, subscriptions, and donations by delivering several hundred speeches throughout the region. She was an active resident at The Glenridge, chairing the Women’s Club program committee, and volunteering in multiple roles.

At Chautauqua, Lee served two terms as president of the Chautauqua Opera Guild, was vice president of the Chautauqua Women’s Club, and chaired, commentated and modeled in numerous CWC Fashion Shows. Her modeling and professional development classes were a feature of the Chautauqua Summer Schools and Girls’ Club for many years. As a member of the Chautauqua Centennial Heritage Committee, Lee worked to gather, model and display antique clothing representing Chautauqua’s history, and was a proud graduate of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle in 1974. She quite enjoyed playing the role of the Queen of Transylvania in the Chautauqua Opera’s 1979 production of My Fair Lady. She was an active member of PEO for many years.

Lee is survived by her beloved husband, Jack White. Both widowed and retired, they met at The Glenridge. It was love at first sight, and they were married at Chautauqua seven months later, in 2012. Other survivors are her children, Lydia Chaverin McKenzie (Patrick), Dan Chaverin (Leslie) and Ron Chaverin (Linda). Their loving father, Carl Chaverin, predeceased her in 2008; their six grandchildren were her joy. Lee’s marriage to Jack White brought her new loved ones, Johnny White (Caroline Lacy) and Jodie Gordon (Michael.) 

A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Tributes in Lee’s name can be made to the Sarasota Opera Association, 61 North Pineapple, Sarasota, FL, 34236.

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