Ruth Veronica White died on May 2, 2022 at her home in Provincetown, surrounded by her loving family. Two months shy of her 95th birthday, she was sharp as a tack, said her daughter Deb. “Like an old Chevrolet,” she said, “there were many tune-ups to keep her running smooth.”
The daughter of Manuel and Mary Lema, who had emigrated from the Azores, Ruth was born on July 2, 1927, in Provincetown, where she grew up. When her father, a fisherman, was injured on the job, Ruth left school to go to work at age 16.
She also learned to play the guitar. It was probably through their mutual interest in music that she met John A. White, a local drummer. They married in 1949 and had two children. Their marriage lasted 61 years until John’s death in 2010.
In the summers, to supplement the family income, Ruth worked as a housekeeper at the Cape Colony Inn in Provincetown for some 35 years. In her free time, she was a talented knitter. Her sweaters were admired by many, and all her relatives cherished the long-lasting sweaters she made for them. She also enjoyed upholstering furniture.
Ruth was a wonderful mother, said Deb, who genuinely wanted her children to enjoy life. “If you want lobster,” she would say, “eat lobster.”
She is survived by her daughter, Deborah White, and son, Steven White, both of Provincetown, as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Ruth was predeceased by her husband, John; her parents, Manuel and Mary Lema; sisters Palmeda Cabral, Dolores Roderick, and Mary Morgan; and her brother, Frank Lema.
A celebration of her life will be held in the fall.
An online guest book for expressions of condolence may be found at gatelyfuneralservice.com.
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