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Elizabeth R. ‘Betty’ White, homemaker, dies

Elizabeth R. “Betty” White
Elizabeth R. “Betty” White (HANDOUT)

Elizabeth R. “Betty” White, a Monkton homemaker who was an avid tennis player and golfer, died Aug. 16 at Sinai Hospital of complications after an automobile accident in Hunt Valley. She was 87.

The former Elizabeth Rich, the daughter of Charles Rich, a businessman, and his wife, Hildegard Rich, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised in Ruxton.

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After graduating in 1950 from Garrison Forest School, she worked briefly as a counselor at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital before her marriage in 1956 to H.S. Taylor White III, a developer.

The couple settled in Monkton, where they enjoyed trail-riding motorcycles through the surrounding countryside with friends.

After her first son was diagnosed with dyslexia, she and her husband became lifelong active supporters of the Jemicy School in Owings Mills, which had been founded in 1972 by Joyce Bilgrave and David Malin. The couple eventually sent three of their four children to the school.

When her second grandson was diagnosed with dyslexia, Mrs. White made sure he was able to attend Jemicy.

“It was a place of joy and happiness for her and she beamed with pride when in the 10th grade he was invited into the honors society,” her daughter, Wilhelmine W. “Willie” Kyger of Monkton, wrote in a biographical sketch of her mother.

Mrs. White and her husband, who is a member of the school’s board, attended every graduation at Jemicy until this year, family members said.

Athletic, Mrs. White played tennis for more than 30 years, and when she could no longer enjoy the sport, took up golf, which she was still playing at her death. She was a member of the Hunt Valley Golf Club.

She enjoyed the outdoors and gardening, and had installed bluebird houses throughout her property. She also was an inveterate reader, attending her book club and playing bridge once a week with friends.

She and her husband maintained a second home in Cambridge, where they were members of the Cambridge Country Club.

“Betty was kind and generous and her smile could brighten up any room,” her daughter wrote. “She had a great outlook on life and just wanted to live it to the fullest. Her friends and family were everything to her. Her thoughts were rarely of herself but always for others.”

Mrs. White was a communicant of Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church, 18310 Middletown Road, Parkton, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 2 p.m. Sept. 14.

In addition to her husband of 63 years and daughter, Mrs. White is survived by three sons, H.S. Taylor White IV and Ridgely W. White, both of Monkton, and Charles Gardiner White of Brogue, Pennsylvania; two sisters, Anne Morris Sapir of Towson and Hildegard Pollard of Hagerstown; and four grandchildren.

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