Clara Ray White
November 23, 1928 – October 4, 2021
Clara Ray White was born on November 23, 1928. She was a native of Okolona, Kentucky and lived for many years in Strathmoor Village. She died on October 4, 2021, at Baptist Health Hospital in Louisville at the age of 92. She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Robert “Bob” White, son Rev. Robert “Robin” White his life partner Rev. Barry Christensen and Mr. P., the last of a long line of rescue cats. Clara Ray was a member of Strathmoor Presbyterian Church and of the Metropolitan Community Church, both of Louisville, Kentucky.
She was involved with the Presbyterian Women’s Circles for numerous years and worked on their Annual Charity Fundraisers. She embraced a correspondence ministry of birthday and condolence cards for the multiple communities she was a part of for decades. And she also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Church of Louisville in 2007-2008. She loved singing church music and was fairly accomplished on piano, organ and electronic keyboards. (Early in her life she played French Horn.) Her favorite hymn was Just a Closer Walk With Thee.
Another aspect of her ministry was that she never gave up on anybody she ever knew. Over the years she eased her grandmother, father and aunt through their difficult last years, never complaining. She was also an honorary Mom to so many who had been abandoned by theirs when they were run out of their families because they identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.
Over a half century she and her husband traveled to almost every nook and cranny of the continental USA and Canada, first with a tent, eventually graduating to a monstrous motor home. Perennial favorites were Florida and the Great Smoky Mountains.
She loved murder mysteries, especially the Prendergast tales of authors Preston & Childs. Her favorite shows were Dancing with the Stars, Celebrity Family Feud and Saturday reruns of the Lawrence Welk Show. (She also collected the DVDs for Bones, House, Rizzoli & Isles and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) She loved dance music and for many years in the 50s and 60s she and Bob would go dancing, towards the end specializing in the square dance.
Every morning she would fuss with the cat, fix herself something to eat, work several hours on the household account books and sending cards to anyone who needed one and then retired to an afternoon of reading and after dinner watching something on TV. But starting in early November, her focus shifted to Christmas. For decades, she threw a Christmas Party for the extended family until COVID-19 forced a break. She would spend weeks decorating the house and months writing cards and wrapping gifts. And there would always be piles of gifts for the four of us around the tree each Christmas Eve.
All told, a long, good life, well lived.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021