Lianna Shalek White passed away on Sunday, August 8th, 2021. She spent her last week surrounded by a family that adored her, in a beautiful and meaningful place, doing things that gave her joy. Lianna has defied expectations and categorization since the day she was born, October 29, 1991. She is survived by her father, step-mother, brother, sister, step-brother, and a community of friends and family that love her.
Lianna had a way of endearing herself to those she met in her own special way. She was well known and loved wherever she went. She knew so many in town, her dad was sure one day she would become the mayor of Ithaca. She has an inside joke and a different way of talking with all the important people in her life. Her family is deeply grateful to the vast community of individuals who enriched Lianna’s life by dedicating their time, energy, patience, love, and support to helping her experience joy, learn, grow, volunteer, and become more independent.
She lived her life in Ithaca, NY where she started school at Racker, then went to Caroline, Belle Sherman, Northeast Elementary, Stone Circle, and received a GED diploma from TST BOCES at age 21. After graduation Lianna worked at Challenge where she interned in the Ithaca College dishroom and at Waffle Frolic. Lianna participated in multiple programs for many years at the Ithaca Youth Bureau, CSMA, Best Buddies and many more. She also volunteered at the public library, Greenstar, BJM elementary school, the Nature Center, the Sciencenter, the SPCA and Loaves and Fishes. She was a longtime member and volunteer at the Ithaca Reform Temple.
As the sole-proprietor of Lianna’s Baking Company, Lianna was a purveyor of gluten-free baked goods. A true Swiftie (fan of Taylor Swift), a loyal member of Disney+, and an Uno shark, she was also a serial phone dialer since she learned that she could talk to anyone at any time if she only knew which buttons to push. If you didn’t answer, she’d just try again 17 more times, text you to call her back ASAP, and then move to the next phone contact. When she couldn’t use her phone, she figured out how to make calls from her iPad or Alexa.
She loved animals, both real and stuffed. Lianna was not overly beholden to material things; she was a believer in practicing extreme generosity. After years of collecting dozens of Webkinz stuffed animals, Lianna decided one day she didn’t want them any more and gave them all away, only to begin collecting Webkinz again a year or two later. She did the same with mountains of math workbooks.
Her loss was sudden and devastating. We take comfort knowing that she is wrapped up in the arms of her dear, departed mother Susan, her beloved uncle Rob, and others that we’ve lost too soon.
There will be a celebration of Lianna’s life when we can all safely gather in a large group. In lieu of flowers her family welcomes you to make a donation to Racker, an organization dedicated to supporting individuals with disabilities and their families in the Ithaca area, which had a big impact on the life of Lianna and her family.
For those able to make a donation please go to https://www.racker.org/support-us/ and indicate that the gift is in tribute to Lianna White.
Donations can also be mailed to:
Racker 3226 Wilkins Rd. Ithaca, NY 14850.
3226 Wilkins Road, Ithaca NY 14850