Ruth M. (O’Brien) White, age 93, passed away peacefully in the Ellis Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Norwood, Massachusetts on Sunday, February 23, 2020, surrounded by her loving family. Born in Charlestown, Massachusetts on February 26, 1926, she was the daughter of the late John J. and Grace E. (Cummings) O’Brien. She spent her early years in Charlestown before settling in Norfolk, Massachusetts after her father was appointed warden of the prison. Ruth graduated from Walpole High School with the Class of 1943, as Norfolk did not have a high school, and continued her education, earning her bachelor’s degree with a focus on sociology from Emmanuel College in 1947. Following her graduation, Ruth took a job with the New England Telephone Company.
Ruth married her beloved husband, Francis H. White, Jr., on November 12, 1949. The young couple initially made their home in Lynn, Massachusetts before Francis’s Naval Career transferred him to Falls Church, Virginia in the Spring of 1952. Ruth took on the role of a homemaker, raising and caring for her young family and a couple years later, the family returned to Massachusetts, settling in East Walpole. As her children grew up, Ruth took classes to earn her teaching certificate, which she was awarded in 1971 and she became a member of the Massachusetts Teacher’s Association. She spent her first years in her educational career with the Walpole Public Schools as a teacher’s aide before taking a teaching position in the Stone School and later taught at the Fisher School. After several years in the elementary schools, Ruth moved up the West Junior High School, which during the course of her career became the Eleanor N. Johnson Middle School, before her retirement in June of 1991. Ruth’s love of reading led her to her retirement job, working as a librarian in the children’s room of the Walpole Public Library. When Ruth wasn’t working at one of her two jobs, she regularly volunteered her time with local organizations, including Norwood Hospital and the Walpole Community Food Pantry.
While Ruth enjoyed keeping busy, she always found time for her group of close friends of 46 years, Ellen, Cathy, Sandy, Judy, and Maureen. Together this group of ladies took fabulous trips over the course of more than 20 years. Back at home, Ruth enjoyed her quiet time, working on crossword puzzles, knitting, reading, and completing jigsaw puzzles. However, things may have gotten a little rowdy in her home a time or two when she was cheering for her beloved Boston Bruins or Boston Red Sox. More than anything, Ruth was truly dedicated to her family. She loved the opportunity to attend her children’s athletic competitions, a tradition that was carried on as she welcomed her grandchildren.
Beloved wife of the late Francis H. White, Jr.
Loving mother of Christopher F. White of Huntsville, Texas, Kathleen A. O’Neill of Watertown, Connecticut, Francis H. White, III of Walpole, Betsy A. Morris of Walpole, and Jay J. White of Scituate.
Cherished grandmother of Jessica Morris, Jenna Brown, Christine White, Kyle Morris, John White, Jack White, Casey White, and Christopher White and great grandmother of Cammie and Lina.
Sister of the late Grace E. O’Brien and Marion L. Pare.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Ruth’s Life Celebration on Friday, February 28, 2020 from 4 to 8 PM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Blessed Sacrament Church, 10 Diamond Street, Walpole on Saturday, February 28, 2020 at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow in Saint Francis Cemetery in Walpole. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ruth’s name may be made to the Francis Howard White Memorial Scholarship, c/o Walpole Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 58, East Walpole, MA 02032.
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