Sterling was born in Tooele, Utah on August 2, 1935 to Alma Bish and Ida Adamson White. He was the 5th of 6 children. His early years were spent growing up in Tooele where his father was the Tooele County Sheriff. He left Tooele in his early teens, spending a couple of years helping his dad on a dairy farm in Park City which was owned by Dr. Mayo from Tooele. His mom and dad then went to work running The Oasis cafe and bar, owned by Dr. Mayo, which was in Nevada on the highway to Elko near Montello. Although he was underage, his mom and dad found him playing guitar in the bar one night, singing "Seven Beers with the Wrong Woman." His musical career was short-lived.
He graduated from Montello High School in 1953, married Clara Renee Westover (div 1976) and began his cowboy career as a wrangler running Dr. Mayo's ranch near Montello. A year later he moved back to Tooele and made a living working for his brothers, Floyd and Bud, at their White Brothers Phillips 66 gas station, and as a Meadow Gold milkman. He took some classes at the University of Utah, and became a civil service employee at Dugway Proving Ground, working on the field crew testing chemical weapons. His work took him on TDY's to Hawaii and Alaska.
In his spare time he trained horses. That was his passion. He was able to get a part time job training and showing horses at a stable in Salt Lake City. Although a western cowboy, Sterling was mentored by the owner and trainer of the stables on riding english and jumpers. He was a natural, and excelled in all aspects of training and showing horses. In 1970 his mentor recommended him for a full time job training and managing Takara Arabians horse ranch in Aurora, Oregon. He had a meteoric rise in the Arabian horse world. He was quickly winning trophies and ribbons at the major Arabian horse shows, and qualifying for the national finals. This led to getting better and better offers at other ranches. After two years in Oregon and one year in Maryland, he trained and managed Gainey Arabians, with three ranches, in Scottsdale Arizona, Santa Ynez California, and Owatonna Minnesota. After only a few years in the business, he had several US and Canadian national champions and national top 10's. He fulfilled his dream of being a world famous horse trainer. Throughout his career he trained and managed at various ranches, became an international judge, and also had his own training stables. After suffering a heart attack at age 70, he reluctantly retired from the horse business in 2008 and returned to his home town, Tooele, to enjoy his later years with his brother and best friend, Bud.
He also enjoyed going on volunteer Sheriff Patrol rides with his cousin, Gene. He liked having gospel conversations with Gene, which led him to get active in the church again. He had been in and out of the church throughout his life, and although no saint nor gospel scholar, when he was asked about his testimony, he would simply say "I know God loves me" and point upward. Once back in the church, he enjoyed attending and hardly missed, even up to the last Sunday before his passing. After Bud passed away in 2013, Sterling eventually moved to St George, Hurricane, and finally Logan, Utah where he could be close to his kids. He passed away quickly and peacefully on August 20, 2022 at Autumn Care Assisted Living in Hyde Park, Utah.
Sterling was preceded in death by his father, mother, and all of his siblings, Marion Floyd (Floyd) White, Ellis Martin (Bud) White, Alma Jean Walters, Ida Delvona (Delvona) Warburton, and William Keith (Bill) White. He is survived by his four children, Mickey White (wife Kathy), Sherry Steadman, Vicki Averett (husband Rand), Serenaty White, 11 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren.
Former wives, Suzanne Perkins (1976-81), Diane Johnson (1984-98), former partner Leanne Finley.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at 1:00 pm at the Tooele City Cemetery. A viewing for friends and family will take place from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Tooele 14th Ward, 192 W 200 S Tooele. Those who would like to attend the service virtually may use the following link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86346549774