Veteran and MSU student Jessie White passed away on April 7, due to injuries from an automobile accident.
White joined the Army in 2007, serving two tours in Iraq as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and was honorably discharged as a Sergeant in 2011. “He was really proud of his military service,” said Mike Everett, a fellow veteran and student.
“He was a little older than most students. I think that’s kind of why me and him became friends,” explained Everett. “We kind of just built a friendship based on similar experiences, military-wise and then in school.”
The 35-year-old was studying geology and planned to graduate December 2015. “During the school time … he basically was all about school,” Everett said, “He got good grades too.”
Everett recalled White as a quiet person publicly, “but once you got to know him … he was kind of a goofball.” With a grin he added, “The Army and the Marines, we kind of have a rivalry … we were always just joking around with each other.”
Raised in Livingston, White grew up hunting and fishing in the Gallatin area. After completing his degree at MSU, he planned to study geology further in graduate school. According to Everett, White wanted to research a specific type of shale found under oil fields. “There’s only a handful of people that have actually studied that; he wanted to further [the research].”
MSU plans to award White a degree posthumously. “As hard as he worked at school, I think it’s something he deserved,” Everett said.
The oldest of three children, White is survived by Tara and Jeff Siekert of Idaho and Kendra and Kent Bettelyoun and niece and nephew Alice and Kyler in Oregon. His mother, Alice White, still lives in Livingston; his father Warren White passed away about a year previous.