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Gloria Ann White

October, 1941 ~ February 23, 2011
March 4, 2011

By Mike Weland


Gloria WhiteGloria White, a 40-year resident of Boundary County who built a log cabin on land she owned on Katka Mountain, died February 23 at the age of 69. And that might be off by a year. Her brief obituary, written by a friend, says she was born in October, 1941. It doesn’t say where, or who her parents are, or were.


“Born in 1940, White never knew her parents well,” wrote TruTv reporter Denise Noe. “Her mother deserted her when she was a baby. Her father was not around much. She was raised in a large family by her grandparents. Having little use for school, she dropped out at age 14. She then worked at a lumber mill and lived on her own.”


According to Noe, Gloria White married at age 14, became pregnant the following year and divorced soon after. She married and divorced a second time, and gave up on marriage. She had five more children out of wedlock.


“Attractive with her blue eyes and soft dark hair, White had many suitors despite her tender age,” Noe wrote. “White had a frontier mentality, and sometimes told friends that she would have been more comfortable in the 19th century rather than the 20th. She drove a pickup truck, raised livestock and vegetables, hunted, and home-schooled her kids. White was extroverted, friendly, ruggedly and proudly independent, and generous to a fault. Societal norms, legal or moral, did not get much consideration.”


On her own, she seldom drew attention. It was the people she took in who did, notably Christopher Boyce, who stayed at her Katka cabin for a short time after escaping a 40-year sentence at Lompoc Prison, California, January 21, 1980, as a convicted spy.


“Since Gloria White held little regard for the law,” Noe wrote, “she did not blanch when Boyce told her he wanted to rob banks for some easy money.”


This, apparently, after finding work at local nurseries too dull.


“Boyce was not intimidated by bank robbery,” she went on. “After all, he had committed espionage. White aided Boyce in his new pursuit by supplying him with theatrical make-up and sometimes applying it … Together with the accomplices he met through White, Boyce perpetrated at least 16 bank robberies.”


On August 28, 1981, Boyce was arrested while eating in his car outside "The Pit Stop," a drive-in restaurant in Port Angeles, Washington. Authorities had received a tip about Boyce's whereabouts from his former bank robbery confederates.


Except in the media, White was never implicated, and she lived a mostly quiet life under the craggy face of Katka despite the media attention.


She is survived by two daughters, four sons, 16 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She had many friends who loved her, and will miss her for her generosity, strength, wisdom and compassion.


A fireside service will be held for her at her cabin on Katka face at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 6.


As in her life, all are welcome.