Mary “Happy” (Tefft Schwarz) White, 92, mother Taco president and CEO John “Johnny” Hazen White Jr., passed away on April 9, 2009. Born in Syracuse, NY, on Sept. 5, 1916, she was the wife ofJohn Hazen White Sr.with which she had five children. In 1954, her husband established Cranston, RI, as the headquarters for his manufacturing plant, Taco Inc.
She was the founder of the former Happy White Gallery, a past president of the Green Fingers Garden Club, a member of the New York Junior League, and also a board member of the RI Philharmonic. She received philanthropic awards from Woman & Infants Hospital and the American Red Cross for her support of those organizations. Johnson & Wales University also honored her for her contributions to the school with the Happy White Garden.
In 2007, Johnny Whitededicated a new 60,000-sq.-ft. addition to Taco’s Cranston, RI, manufacturing facility. In a program handout, he credited his parents with “having created a solid foundation from which we have based our growth and success.” The new warehousing and shipping addition was dedicated to his parents, John Sr. and Mary.
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