MOUNT PLEASANT (WJRT) (6/12/2019) - The community of Mount Pleasant is mourning the loss of a retired Michigan State Police trooper who meant much more than just a man with a badge.
Retired Michigan State Police Trooper Mike White died of a heart attack this week.
Those who knew Mike White say his impact in the town went far beyond his law enforcement work.
"He was an icon in the community," said Michigan State Police Lt. Todd Parsons.
White spent 28 years with the Michigan State Police. He retired as a community service trooper last year.
"If you ever met Mike, it had a profound effect on you as a person," Parsons said.
The 62 year old husband and father of two children died Saturday after suffering a heart attack. He was doing pre-marital counseling with a couple when he fell ill.
"Right to the very end, he was giving to other people, to his community and that is truly who he was," Parsons said.
White had his hands in a lot of lives. He was a pastor at a church in Mount Pleasant. Friends say he most likely visited every school in Isabella County as a trooper. He was the chaplain of the Central Michigan University football team, often accompanying the team on road trips.
"Mike was looked to as an astounding mentor to these young men," Parsons said.
White loved tennis, starting the Mount Pleasant Community Tennis tournament. That's how Jim Vandermey met White in the 1990s and remained friends ever since.
"He always liked to teach any kid around town who wanted to know something about tennis," he said.
Vandermey said the tournament will most likely bear the name of White from now on.
"All of a sudden you find out he's gone and start to realize that a lot of things are going to change," he said.
With so many lives touched, the funeral will be Friday at Warriner Hall on the campus of Central Michigan University. A big turnout is expected.
"I'm probably one of the 300 people around this town that would think of Mike as one of their best friends," Vandermey said. "He just had that quality of being a great friend to you."