Renae (Mortensen) WhiteMay 9, 1924 ~ February 24, 2017 (age 92)
On February 24, 2017, Renae Mortensen White, 92, passed away in Albuquerque, NM, joining her husband, William F. White, who preceded her in death just 14 months earlier. Her son David and his family lovingly cared for her during the last 10 months of her life, and he was by her side as she left this earth.
Renae was born on May 9, 1924 in Spring City, Utah to Neve and Louie Elizabeth Allred Mortensen. She grew up in Provo and graduated from Provo High School, where she was involved in theater. While she did not continue her education formally, she voraciously read newspapers, periodicals, and every historical plaque she passed. She traveled the country and the world, living in Pennsylvania, Indiana, California, Massachusetts, Belgium, and Korea. She loved talking to anyone, especially those who were different from her.
The mother of seven children, Renae was 47 years old when her youngest child was born. She spent over 41 years raising children in her home. Her 21 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren were the joy of her existence. She had an amazing way of communicating with her grandchildren. She included them in kitchen chores, sewing projects, and playing outdoors at the farm. When they were teenagers she had faith in them. She believed that each grandchild was capable of great accomplishments.
Renae worked tirelessly in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving as the Relief Society president and as the ward and stake Young Women’s president. She and her husband Bill served a mission to Seoul, South Korea from 1990-1992, and later worked together in the Manti Temple. Even in her 80's, Renae taught teenagers in Sunday School. She cared about the individual–everyone had a chance for success in her eyes. Anyone who met her felt her passion for building and strengthening others.
Renae was a feminist before it had a definition. She believed in womanhood. She was strong, purposeful, and faithful. In one day, she could plant peas in her garden, visit a downtrodden neighbor, prepare a lesson for a leadership training meeting, drive children to activities, pay the family bills, cut out a pattern for a new dress, and serve a delicious meal.
She and Bill moved to Monroe in 1983 and built "The Farm," where extended family loved to gather. In the last few years, as her mind became "foggy" as she would say, Renae was given so much by the community around her—patience from clerks at Fresh Market, kindness from servers at Bully's Drive-In, and quiet service by her Relief Society sisters who would help find her purse or give a forgotten lesson. Neighbors watched over horses and fields, and strangers watched Renae and Bill’s aging love story with a smile. Renae was her brother's keeper, and those in the Sevier Valley repaid that kindness.
Renae is survived by her by her four sons: Bill, Jim (Kathy), Dan (Joan), David (Catherine); and three daughters: Susan (Dick) Schooley, Elizabeth (Jim) Maack, and Nanette (Doug) Johnson; brothers: Don and David Mortensen. She is also preceded in death by her parents; sister, Mary Nickoladze, and brother, Kent Mortensen.
Renae’s life will be honored with a funeral service on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 12:00 Noon in the Monroe 1st and 4th LDS Ward Chapel, 49 E. 200 N. Friends may call at the ward chapel in Monroe on Saturday from 10:30-11:30 am. Burial will be in the Monroe Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com