Cover photo for Arleta Rae White's Obituary
1936 Arleta 2017

Arleta Rae White

October 1, 1936 — November 4, 2017

Arleta Rae (Blake) White was born October 1, 1936 in Heppner, Oregon. On November 4, 2017, in the city of Portland, she passed away at the age of 81. Arleta was preceded in death by her husband, John Gardner White, who died in May of 2016.  She is survived by her two children, Jerry White and Jean Anne Craton, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Arleta moved to Portland at a young age, growing up in the Rose City area.  She graduated from Grant High School where she participated on the swim team and in the high school band.  In addition, Arleta played the violin in the Portland Junior Symphony and earned swimming awards on the Junior Olympic swim team.  Jobs following high school included working with children at Shriner’s Hospital and as a bank teller.

Arleta and Gar were married August 13, 1960 in Portland, Oregon.  During their 55 years of marriage, they enjoyed camping, spending weekends at the cabin with family and friends, and yearly trips to the Oregon coast, their favorite activity together.

Arleta enjoyed animals, and to many she was known as “The Rabbit Lady”. She was a Camp Fire Girls leader, and taught them not only how to bake and make crafts, but to invest in the lives of others. They would often take their crafts and baked goods to the seniors living in nursing homes.

Everyone who knew Arleta, knew of her extensive teddy bear collection. She enjoyed dressing them up in seasonal clothes and displaying them in her windows.

Baking is something she enjoyed doing with her children and grandchildren when they were young. Stirring Jell-O and playing with cookie cutters were always impromptu activities in her kitchen.

Arleta, along with her husband, created and assembled many quilts together as gifts for friends and family.

When Arleta carved out time for herself, she played Bunco with girlfriends, always coming home with a prize!

Arleta’s biggest legacy was the four decades she spent as a care giver for hundreds of children. Day in and day out, her loving and selfless nature never seemed to run out.  Arleta became so much more than a care taker for these children, she became like family.

After a life well lived here on Earth, she is now resting and enjoying eternity with her Lord and Savior, not because of the many wonderful things she did, but because she put her trust in Him and what He did for her.

Here are some memories shared by Arleta’s grandchildren.

“My favorite memory from growing up is of every time she would babysit us, we always got to build the BEST forts in the living room.  I have yet to live up to Grandma’s forts with my own kids.” (Jessie)

“MeeMa was a kind and caring soul who thought of the needs of others first and always gave whatever she could, from the heart.  We were blessed to have her in our lives.”  (Cole)

“She always made us feel loved with notes, phone calls, and little goodies just because they reminded her of us.”  (Colleen)

“During our visits to MeeMa’s house we had several picnics together and she shared some of her childhood memories with me.  I enjoyed those moments because it made me realize how much we actually had in common.  I will miss being able to hear about her memories and what she accomplished.  But I have the comfort of knowing I will see her again in Heaven.”  (Savannah)

“She was an awesome grandmother!  She was always thinking about others and not herself. I loved playing with all the thingamadoodles and whatchamacallits in her basement. Her surprise packages were stock full of trinkets, pictures and articles for every person in the family.”  (Sean)

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Arleta Rae White, please visit our flower store.


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