James K. White
Energy Dept. lawyer

James K. White, 72, a lawyer who retired from the U.S. Energy Department in 2002 as assistant general counsel for fossil fuels, died Oct. 26 at a clinic in Burlington, Mass.

He had complications from surgery, said his wife, Catherine Hirsch.

Mr. White spent more than 25 years working for the Energy Department and its predecessor, the Federal Energy Administration. He specialized in policy guidance, legislative drafting and negotiation.

James Krantz White , who went by the nickname Jimmy, was born in New Haven, Conn. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University in 1962 and settled in the Washington area after receiving a law degree from Columbia University in 1965.

He worked in the office of the general counsel of the former Department of Health, Education and Welfare and served in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1966 to 1970 before moving into private practice with the Washington firm Wald, Harkrader and Ross.

Mr. White, a District resident, did fundraising work for Yale and interviewed prospective candidates for admission. He had been a president and committee chairman of the Yale Club of Washington and secretary of the Class of 1962.

He volunteered with Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, now Learning Ally, and wrote a privately distributed electronic publication called Baseball Notes.

His first wife, Suzanne Barattini White, died in 1990 after 24 years of marriage.

Survivors include his wife of seven years, Catherine Hirsch of Washington; a daughter from his first marriage, Isabel Petrikin of Valley Village, Calif.; a sister; and two grandsons.

— Emily Langer