Florence M J. White, 59, who ended her 28-year-career with the D. C. school system in 1973 as principal of Buchanan Elementary School, died Wednesday of multiple myeloma at Washington Hospital Center.
"She was a lover of children, she dedicated her whole life to children," said her husband, James E. Whites Sr. He added that she became a volunteer with a child abuse program after she retired.
While Mrs. White was principal of Buchanan, the school in southeast was selected by Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson to be the site of a recreational plaza, donated by Mrs. Vincent Astor. The school did not have a playground until the plaza was built.
At the dedication ceremonies for the plaza, Mrs. Johnson cited Buchanan as a model school of the District and said Mrs. White was a model principal.
Born in the District, Mrs. White attended Dunbar High School and Miner Teacher College.
She worked for the Treasury Department for about two years after she left college and then began teaching at Van Ness Elementary School. While working as a teacher she studied for her master's degree, and earned a master's in education from New York University.
In 1959, after teaching at Van Ness and Crummel Elementary School, which is now closed, Mrs. White was appointed principal of Blair-Brent elementary schools. The two schools were headed by one principal although they were on separate sites.
In 1966 she became principal of Buchanan Elementary School. She retired in 1973.
During her seven-year career at Buchanan, Mrs. White strengthened the school's Parent-Teacher Association and helped to involve the group in community affairs.
Mrs. White was secretary of Phi Delta Kappa, an educational group, the Tuesday Evening Principal's Club and the DEJEMMHETS Social Club. (The name consists of the initials of the 10 founders of the club).
In addition to her husband, of the home in Northeast Washington, Mrs. White is survived by her mother, Anna M. Jackson, and her father, Warren P. Jackson, S., both of the District; two sons, Jeffrey E. of Oakland, Calif., and Jonathan E., of Bladensburg; two brothers, Warren P. Jackson Jr. and Leon A. Jackson, and two grandchildren, Janice Y. White, and Jonathan E. White Jr. both of the District.