Hannah Elizabeth Nelson White

Hannah Elizabeth Nelson White was greatly loved by many. Our beloved Hannah, age 95, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday afternoon, July 22, 2012 surrounded by her family. Hannah was born December 24, 1916 in the family home on Nick Road in Centralia, Washington, to Charles and Karen Nelson. In July 1919, after two bad floods, the family moved to the present family farm in Napavine, Washington.

The family successfully farmed and harvested Christmas trees and survived the hard years of the Great Depression. To make a little money for the family, Hannah and her older sister Ella picked apples in the Wenatchee Valley. Hannah attended Jackson Prairie grade school and was the Valedictorian of Napavine High School Class of 1934.

After school, Hannah worked for "Ma Bell", a career that spanned 44 years. When the devastating 1959 blast happened, after confirming her family was ok, Hannah worked the next three days helping her community cope with tragedy. Hannah retired from the phone company as a supervisor in 1980.

In September 1938 Hannah married Charles White, a radiator shop owner/operator and they lived their first years together in Chehalis, Washington. Their son and daughter Ronald and Gail were born in Chehalis. Hannah and "Charlie" moved their family to Roseburg, Oregon in the spring of 1947. Roseburg was known as the "timber capitol of the nation" and he had quite a booming business working on log truck radiators. Coming from a cooler city life, Hannah said she thought she landed in "dust bowl" hell as Roseburg had dirt roads and outhouses!

Hannah liked to dance and in the early 50s, the family spent Saturday nights at Lindy's dance hall in Green. Charlie left Oregon in 1958 and never returned.

Hannah raised a plentiful garden and canned, dried and froze fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies. She had a knack for creating something wonderful out of very little.

Hannah was the epitome of responsibility, accountability and hard work - always walked her talk. She expected the best of those around her, saying things like "if you can't say something nice about a person, don't say anything at all" or "the best way to save money is just stay out of the stores". She had a keen sense of humor and a very infectious laugh. These past few years as she spoke less, she still had a beautiful smile for those around her.

The treasures in Hannah's life and her greatest joys were her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sister, friends and her pets. She would light up talking about past trips to the ocean; camping; fishing; making pizza pie or picking peppers with her grandchildren or going to Diamond Lake for blackberry pie with the "girls". Hannah was an avid fisherman.

Hannah was a great Mom and mentor to many neighborhood children along with her own. Coming home from a trip to Diamond Lake to play in the snow, fifteen or so kids were greeted with a hot turkey dinner and all the trimmings.

She was a good neighbor, friend and citizen, serving as an officer in Telephone Pioneers volunteering at the local Veteran's hospital and making teddy bears and quilts for people in need in the community. Hannah's life demonstrated high value for family and community and she will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved her.

Hannah was preceded in death by Charlie and her sister Ella. She is survived by her son, Ron White and his wife Margaret of Roseburg; daughter Gail White Parnell of West Linn; grandchildren Trina Gardner, Will Parnell, Russ White, Jeff White and Kevin White and their families including eight great-grandchildren; cousin Sid Nelson of Longview and numerous nieces and nephews.

Hannah's family gives thanks to the caregivers at Callahan Court for her great care these past years.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 28, 2012 at the First Christian Church, 432 SE Kane Street, Roseburg, OR; followed by internment at Roseburg memorial Gardens and a celebration gathering at Ron and Meg's home. Arrangements are under the care of Wilson's Chapel of the Roses, www.wilsonschapeloftherosesfh.com.


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The News-Review Updated Aug 16, 2012 08:29AM Published Aug 24, 2012 02:44PM Copyright 2012 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.