In loving memory of Mary Louise White: 1935-2024


Mary Louise White passed away at home on Feb. 22, 2024. She was born on May 16, 1935, in Independence, Missouri, to David and Susie Allen. The family moved to Onalaska, where she attended school. She was the oldest of four children.

Mary met her future husband, Richard (Dick) White, the love of her life, at a dance at the Centralia Alpha grange. They married June 12, 1952, making their home on a 50-acre farm on the Middle Fork Road in Onalaska and raised five children. They grew blueberries, strawberries and raspberries and had several fruit trees. Mary learned to shoot a gun and kept the birds away from her berries. They also had a large garden from which Mary preserved food. She learned to cook from Dick and his mom because when she married, she didn't know the difference between sugar and powdered sugar.

Dick and Mary moved their family to Avery Road East off of Highway 12, Chehalis, in 1967, where she lived the rest of her life.

Mary had a full life. She sold Dynasty jewelry and Studio Girl cosmetics in the 1960s, working herself up to a manager of 14 counties and earning many awards. She was involved in 4-H and Girl Scouts, from being a leader to a service unit chairman and cookie manager for over 20 years. Every year, she had over 2,000 cases of cookies that went out to the different troops in Lewis County. Mary and Dick were also involved in the Girl Scout summer camp at Mcfadden Park. 

Mary had over 50 years of community service to several groups, and she would often be the treasurer or bookkeeper. She was involved in Master Gardeners, Lewis County Recyclers,  Fort Borst Home Preservation, Fuchsia Society, Onalaska Community Association, and Cherokee Genealogy, to name a few.

Mary enjoyed growing dahlias. At one time, her and Dick had over 950 varieties. She enjoyed crocheting, all kinds of crafts, old movies and TV shows, playing cards, yodeling, dancing, day trips and her grandchildren's sporting events.

Dick and Mary owned Farmers Insurance at 620 N. National, Chehalis, from 1973 to February 1983, when Dick had a debilitating stroke. She had a rehabilitation room built as she was very devoted and spent every day taking care of him at home for the next 13 years until his passing. As Dick's health failed, she turned the room into a consignment shop that evolved into Creative Crafts and Supplies.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, Dick, in 1996; her parents, David and Susie Allen; sister Martha Hager; grandson Robert Hilliard; and son-in-law Robert Stewart. She is survived by her five children, Valerie Stewart, Barbara Sorenson (Alan), Richard White (Elaine), Cheri Eklund, Toni Lloyd (Bob); brother David (Barb) and brother Michael (Hahn); and 16 grandchildren (one of whom was born on her birthday); 18 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.

We want to give thanks to Patty Olson for the help in taking Mom to doctor visits, errands and lunch with Mary. We would also like to thank Assured Hospice for the care it provided for Mom. What a great group of people for sharing their time and listening to stories she shared.

Services will be at Cattermole Funeral Home, Tuesday, March 12, at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon at Napavine Rebekah Lodge, 111 N. Washington. Private family burial will be at Napavine cemetery.