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Obituary for Mary Ellen White
Mary Ellen White June 7, 1929 - June 1, 2016
Mary Ellen White, our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away at her Brookings’ Oregon home, June 1, 2016, having successfully completed her earthly mission, she now returns to her Heavenly Father.
Mary Ellen was born on June 7, 1929, in La Grande, Oregon to Arthur Edward and Sarah Salisbury Golden. She was the third child of her parents and the only child who survived to adulthood. She was a very precocious and intelligent child with a personality that seemed to charm everyone she met.
She grew up on the Golden family farm in rural La Grande until she was seven years old. In 1936, she moved with her parents to Medford, Oregon. She was a good student and also supported the then, very small congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) which she served and supported all her life.
On August 20, 1945, while still a student at Medford High School, she met Carrol (Cuddy) White, a handsome sailor home on leave, while working at a dress shop. He proposed to her on their first date only later realizing how young she was. They were married with her parent’s reluctant permission on April 27, 1946. They later were sealed for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on December 5, 1951.
They started their married life in Medford, Oregon right at the end of WWII. The returning GIs caused a housing shortage in the area and they felt fortunate to be able to make their first home in a barber shop, barber pole and all. In 1955, they moved to Grants Pass where they lived until 1974, when they moved to Brookings, Oregon. Wherever they lived, Mary Ellen was devoted to her family of six children and prided herself on being a stay-at-home mom although for a brief time, she drove a school bus in Grants Pass. She would boast that even with her tiny 5’2” frame; she could still turn a big bus with no power steering.
Mary Ellen had an artistic talent for crafting beautiful hand-painted greeting cards which were much sought after. She was a proficient seamstress, designing and sewing beautiful clothing for her four daughters for their entire childhood. She taught herself to crochet/knit, rewarding each new grandchild’s birth, of which there were many, with a handmade item.
As a faithful and devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she held many positions of leadership serving in the different church auxiliaries as Primary President, Young Women’s President, and Relief Society President.
When she was eleven years old, she took six months of piano lessons. She continued her studies on her own and was the organist in both the Grants Pass and Brookings Wards of the LDS Church and in fact, was the Brookings’ Ward organist for 40 years. She and Cuddy served together faithfully in the Portland and Medford Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was always willing to share her testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ, with anyone she met.
She loved to travel and together with Cuddy, took many memorable trips in their motor home throughout the United States. She also traveled with family members to Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, China, and Thailand. But her greatest love was spending time with her family which she did on many occasions at many family reunions where she was the center of attention and the life of the party.
She was an avid reader and scholar, and while she got married before her graduation from high school, she continued to seek learning all of her days. She especially loved reading biographies and had an extensive library.
Because of her wisdom and insight, many people often sought her out for counsel and advice. Her support, love, wisdom, and sense of humor will be greatly missed by her large family. Her influence is worldwide through her progeny who have served Church missions in North and South America, Asia and Europe.
She would tell her family, her greatest joy was to “know that her children and grandchildren walked in truth.”
Special thanks and appreciation to Mary Ellen’s two daughters, Karolyn White Pieren and Shawna White who cared for their mother incessantly, literally night and day, the last six months of her final illness.
Mary Ellen is survived by her husband Cuddy, with whom she recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. She is also survived by her six children, Larry and (Janice) White, Karolyn and (Robert) Pieren, Shawna White, Angela and (Jamie) Burton, Lisa and (Paul) Barnes, and David and (Amy) White, 36 grandchildren and 93 great-grandchildren with three more expected this summer.
She is preceded in death by her parents and sister, Barbara Helen Golden and her brother Charles Edward Golden and two grandchildren and one great grandchild. A public visitation will be held Friday, June 10, 2016, from 5-7pm at Redwood Memorial Chapel, 1020 Fifield St. Brookings, OR. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2016, at 1 p.m. at the Brookings Ward meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 770 Elk Drive. Interment will be at the Eagle Point National Cemetery, 2763 Riley Rd., Eagle Point, OR. June 13, 2016 at 2 pm.