Betty Ruth Evans White was born March 7, 1930 and grew up on a farm in central Indiana. She attended Putnam County, Indiana, schools until her last two years of high school, which were spent at Frances Shrimer Junior College. She then attended Newcomb College in New Orleans before finishing her degree at Indiana University. It was there she met and married Jesse Edmund White, her husband of 65 years.
Betty raised three children before returning to school to study for her doctorate in English literature at Washington University in St. Louis. She taught in the English Department and then at the Washington University Olin School of Business for ten years. While at the Business School she earned the national Westinghouse Award for Innovation in Business Education. She finished her career as a professor at Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky.
Betty stayed active in retirement. She was working on a memoir, The Summer Kitchen, about life on the farm before the Second World War. She enjoyed opera, and served on the board of the Union Avenue Opera.
She is survived by her daughter Janet and her sons James and Douglas, her granddaughters Luci, Sarah and Elizabeth, and her great grandson Max. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be directed to Union Avenue Opera, 733 N. Union Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108.