Norma Jean White, née Ross, passed away peacefully at her home Tuesday, October 12, 2021. Born March 15, 1933, in Weston, West Virginia, she was the only child of Willis Jackson and Nora Belle (Woofter) Ross. Her childhood was spent on her parents’ farm on Murphy’s Creek Road.
On April 1, 1950, Norma Jean eloped with her high school sweetheart, Robert Ellis White. She finished high school while secretly married. Together she and her young husband moved to the Akron, Ohio, area to find work. They started their family in 1958, and by 1962 the couple had purchased a modest farm in Brimfield, where they would raise four children, retire, and celebrate 47 years of marriage.
Norma Jean was proud to have earned and maintained her beautician’s license, and always dreamed of running her own hair salon. But she put her responsibilities to her children first, and took a job with Roadway Express, Inc., retiring after many years of faithful service. When she wasn’t working, she could be found caring for her parents, attending her children’s sporting events, canning and freezing the garden harvest, and cooking for her family. Living in the country was also the perfect setting for raising small farm animals, especially the goats, rabbits, and little dogs she was so fond of. Norma Jean was a free and creative spirit who enjoyed sewing, knitting and crocheting, and playing piano. Each day was a new opportunity for her to see life through the eyes of a child.
Mrs. White was a member of the Kent United Methodist Church.
Left to cherish her memory are her children: Robert of Panama, Richard (Judy) of Charlestown, Ronald (Vicki) of Brimfield, and René (Charles) Chlysta of Shalersville; her grandchildren: Reilly Evermore, Emily White, David White, Sgt. Jacob White, James (Kirstie) White, Jennifer (Christopher) Nellesen; her great-grandchildren: Sequoia, Rowan, and Ellowyn; and her many loving nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her lifelong best friend, Hazel Posey, of Weston, WV. In addition to her parents and husband, Norma Jean was predeceased by her devoted companion, Robert McGowan.
The family offers their sincere gratitude to Norma Jean’s selfless and loving home health aides: Bernice, Nita, Pat, Sharon, Zatraey, and Kelli, with additional thanks to the staff of Heather Knoll Rehabilitation Center and Sprenger Hospice for their kindness and care in Norma Jean’s final months.
Memorial services are scheduled at 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 6, 2021, at First Freedom Baptist Church, 2171 Tallmadge Road, Kent, Ohio 44240.
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