Rian J. White, 62

Nov. 14, 1955 - July 25, 2018
Rian J. White, Nov. 14, 1955 - July 25, 2018

Rian J. White of Springs died of cancer on July 25 at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. He was 62 and had been ill for two years.

Mr. White was an accomplished photographer who had a large portfolio of images taken on trips he made to Cuba between 1998 and 2007. He moved to the area in the 1980s and to Springs in 1992. He earned a living as a trap fisherman, restoration carpenter, and contractor, at one time owning Barn Orphanage, a company that deconstructed and reconstructed old barns.

He was born on Nov. 14, 1955, in Islip, one of four children of the former Audrey Bauer, who survives, and Richard J. White, who died before him. He grew up in Centre Island and in 1977 earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts photography at the State University at Plattsburgh.

Fishing and photography remained lifelong pastimes, as did downhill skiing. He lived for a time in Park City, Utah, and “was quite the hot-shot skier and skiied the areas that we are told to stay out of,” his sister Shawn McCarthy said.

In addition to his mother, Audrey White of San Marcos, Calif., and Ms. McCarthy,  who lives in Petaluma, Calif., a son, Tyrone Coughlin of Nashville, a professional bass player, survives, as do two other sisters, Kelly Kepler of Menlo Park, Calif., and Tracy Falina of Rosarito Beach, Mexico.

Peter Strugatz, a friend for 40 years, said that Mr. White was “an expert in music, not just from working the Talkhouse door for many years,” and that he had taken thousands of photographs in Cuba and befriended several young Cuban artists. Once the photos are digitized, Mr. Strugatz said, Getty Images, a stock photo agency with headquarters in Seattle, Wash., is expected to be interested in acquiring them.

Mr. White’s family held a memorial gathering on Sunday at Ashawagh Hall in Springs, and friends and family scattered his ashes at sea off Montauk. They suggested memorial donations to Ashawagh Hall, P.O. Box 537, East Hampton 11937 or ashawagh.hall.org.