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Obituary: Ruth White

1915 ~ 2004


Ruth McFarland White, age 89, slipped peacefully away in her home with her daughters at her bedside on October 11, 2004 of natural causes.

The oldest of six children of Archibald J. and Drucilla Louisa Holmes McFarland, she was born August 13, 1915 at the home of her maternal grandmother in what used to be Wilson, Weber County, Utah. Her early years were spent on a ranch in Leadore, Idaho, and when her parents returned to Utah, she lived in West Ogden and Wilson, attending Ogden City and Weber County Schools. Graduating first from Weber Junior College in 1936, she again graduated in 1964, cum laude, in Weber State's first four-year upper division class with a B.A. degree in Business Education and a minor in Library Science. She also did graduate work with BYU, Utah State University and the U of U.

Ruth met her husband, George A. White in Washington, D.C. where she was employed as a stenographer for the Federal Government; he was a Utah student at George Washington University Law School. They were married in an LDS Chapel there on June 17, 1938. On their first visit back to Utah, their marriage was sealed for eternity in the Salt Lake Temple.

Before receiving her degree, Ruth worked as a stenographer and legal secretary at Continental Bakery, Ogden Arsenal, Ogden School District and at various law firms in Ogden. She excelled at secretarial work but especially loved books and reading. So the last years of her employment were, by choice, as a librarian in the Davis County School District.

During her life and after her retirement, Ruth gave many years of volunteer service to the community, particularly as docent and the first cataloguer for the Union Station museums. For 18 years she was curator and cataloguer for the Weber County D.U.P. Pioneer Museum. She was co-organizer and a past president of Literari Questers Club of Ogden. An avid 4-H'er, she was the first to introduce 4-H to the city, organizing and teaching clubs in urban Utah.

Ruth was also devoted to researching family genealogy and writing ancestral histories. She was author of three family history books and compiler of another. She was also responsible for the placement of a memorial monument in the Machpelah Cemetery in Lexington, Missouri where 21 Mormon converts enroute from England to Salt Lake City were killed in a steamboat explosion on the Missouri River. Their bodies had been buried in an unmarked grave in "Potter's Field" in 1852. One of the victims was Ruth's great-grandfather.

She loved flowers, music, quilting and china painting. She made quilts for all of her granddaughters and, until the time of her first stroke, was president of the Mt. Lomond chapter of World Organization of China Painters, of which she was an active member for many years.

She was a past president of Camp 47, Daughters of Utah Pioneers. She held several positions of leadership in the LDS Church organizations - Sunday School, Primary, MIA - and was Librarian of the Ogden 41st Ward for 33 years.

Other interests were art, history, handicrafts and traveling. She has toured in almost every state, including Hawaii and Alaska. She also journeyed in Europe on several occasions, visiting the neighborhoods of her ancestors in England, Scotland and Ireland.

Ruth's greatest pride was her family. All of her children, except Dennis who died in infancy, are college graduates, talented musicians, active members of the LDS Church and honorable people: Louise Pledge (and Tom), Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia; Marvin (and Susan), Pocatello, ID; Larry (and Judy), West Jordan; Carolin Spencer (and Kelly), Woods Cross; David (deceased) and wife Betty, Moab.

She was the devoted grandma to 23, with 23 great-grandchildren, as well and one great-great grandson. Sisters Rosemary Schoppe and Luanne Fortie also survive. She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, George White; twin sons, David and Dennis; brothers Jay and Forrest McFarland and sister Jessene M. Pack

Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 15, 2004 at 11:00 a.m. at the Ogden 41st Ward LDS Chapel, 3254 Polk Avenue, Ogden. Friends may call at Myers Mortuary, 845 Washington Blvd., on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. and at the ward on Friday from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Interment, Aultorest Memorial Park.

The family would like to especially thank Applegate Homecare and Hospice for their unflagging care.

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