Craig Codon White, 66, of Atlanta, passed away on Dec. 31, 2020, at his home, surrounded by three women he loved deeply. Craig was born July 31, 1954, in Dallas, Texas, the oldest of four children to Ronald and Helayne White. The family moved back to sunny California, in part because of Craig’s chronic asthma, living in the San Fernando Valley and later, Ojai.
He attended the University of California-Berkeley during the university’s prime in the 1970s. A self-described hippie, the identity he held throughout his life, Craig majored in biology, intent on becoming a doctor. He attended medical school at Emory University and made the city his home for over 40 years, though he proudly carried two driver’s licenses — Georgia and California, long expired — to honor his Golden State roots.
During medical school, Craig battled testicular cancer — twice — experiences that led him to work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Carter Center following graduation. In the early 1980s, he had the bold idea to open Innovations, a contemporary furniture store in Midtown, and assembled a staff of misfits that seemed to fit, many of them struck by AIDS, the epidemic of the time. He created a home for these wonderful individuals and protected them as family is supposed to.
In July 2000, Craig was diagnosed with a brain tumor, a new challenge that affected his future in extraordinary ways. His life turned in a new direction, one that freed him to pursue his desires: reading on the beaches of the Turks and Caicos; visiting his family in Ojai; skiing and hiking in Mammoth Lakes. Still, his home and his friends in Atlanta were where he belonged.
Craig survived the death of his father, Ron, and leaves behind a number of people who remember a man who enjoyed nature, music, and food — prepared his way — and played pranks on the unsuspecting any chance he got.
He is survived by his mother; brother David (Victoria) of Seattle; sisters Dana of Ojai and Lori (Carrie) of Ventura, Calif.; and niece Mattie. Most importantly, Craig had the love, support, and kindness from his assistant, Sandy Pfohl, for over 20 years. She shared her generous spirit with those who knew Craig and guided the family through many difficult days.
Sandy and the White family would like to extend a special thanks to Craig’s caregivers: Jane Mensah, Sam Hammonds and Brenda Mitchell. And finally, to Rachel Hill, thank you for the gentle care you showed Craig these past two years. Your presence during his final days proved a great comfort to all. Donations in loving memory of Craig may be made to Yosemite National Park Conservancy, Save the Redwoods (Calif.), or a charity of your choice.