Ruth J. White (Mrs. Robert H. White) died Monday morning, December 9, 2019, at her home in Orlando, Florida. There will be a visitation at Vandemore Funeral Home in Geneseo, 2–4 p.m., Sunday, December 22, and a funeral service at the First Congregational Church in Geneseo, 11 a.m., Monday, December 23. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.
Ruth Jinkins White was born September 16, 1921, in Danville, Illinois, the eldest daughter of Mary Fisher Jinkins and Harland Dewitt Jinkins. She attended high school in Fairmount, Illinois, and graduated valedictorian in 1938. She attended the University of Illinois, graduating with degrees in commerce and education (magna cum laude) in 1942. On December 23, 1942, she married Robert H. White in Champaign, Illinois. They lived in Boston, Massachusetts, while Robert trained at the Naval Supply Corps. In January 1944, they moved to Spokane, Washington, for the duration of the Second World War. Ruth worked there as an education director at the Presbyterian Church and as a stenographer at the American Red Cross.
After the war, Ruth and Robert moved to Geneseo, Illinois, where Robert took up the law practice of the late Henry Waterman, and where she lived continuously until October 2017, when she relocated to Orlando, Florida, to be with her daughter, Cynthia. Ruth was a long-time member of the First Congregational Church and served on many church committees. She was a founding member of Richmond Hill Players, where she appeared in numerous plays through the years. Her favorite role was Opal in Everybody Loves Opal. She also appeared in several productions at Playcrafters Barn Theatre in Moline, Illinois.
An avid card player, Ruth belonged to several bridge clubs over the years, including a Sunday evening “Supper Club” with close family friends. She was an avid reader until failing vision led her to Talking Books. She was sympathetic as well as witty in conversing and corresponding with her many friends. In later years, she was a member of the Geneseo Walk & Talk and a charter
member of the Birthday Group. She was also a member of the PEO Sisterhood.
Ruth’s husband, Robert, preceded her in death in October 1997. Survivors include her children: Douglas H. White of upstate New York and Cynthia L. White (Dan Kremer) of Orlando, Florida; her American Field Service daughter Jacoba Helfrich Laubrock (Christoph Laubrock) of Mannheim, Germany; her grandchildren: Sara White Green (Blake Green) of California; Amelia McIsaac
(Ryan O’Dowd), Caleb White (Tressa Fruchtnicht White), and Maude White of New York; and Katherine Kremer (Jonathan Crimmins) of Virginia; and her great-grandchildren: Lennon Green, Finnoula McIsaac O’Dowd, Emerald McIsaac O’Dowd, Mason White, and Sylvan White. She is also survived by her two sisters, Ann Jinkins Metz and Jane Jinkins Schmoll.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Ruth’s memory to the First Congregational Church of Geneseo, the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service, or the Geneseo Food Pantry. Share a message of sympathy with Ruth’s family at vandemorefuneralhome.com.