Leola Mae Ryals White
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February 26, 1917 - April 8, 2014
Leola Mae Ryals White, beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and great grandmother, died April 8, 2014, in Selma.
Leola was born to Vira Smith Ryals and Archie Telfir Ryals on February 26, 1917, in Meadow, North Carolina. Leola and her six sisters and brothers grew up in Benson. She graduated from Benson High School.
Leola married Vauclain Winston Barnes, Senior, in 1942. She and Winston lived in Fort Worth, Texas, for several years with their son Winston. Mr. Barnes died in December 1944, while serving in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.
In 1953, Leola married Edward Lewis White. Leola and Ed lived in Pine Level for more than 48 years and devoted themselves to their family and the community. On October 9, 1992, the Town of Pine Level honored Leola and Ed by planting 24 Bradford Pear trees as a living reminder of their love for the town. Ed passed away in October 2001.
Leola was a charter member of the First United Methodist Church of Pine Level, where she was a member of United Methodist Women and chaired Communion for 50 years. She was a member of the Pine Level Women's Club and served as its president. She also especially enjoyed her book club and bridge club.
Leola was an accomplished seamstress and an amazing cook. She was devoted to her family, and supported Ed and her sons in every endeavor. She never forgot a birthday. Her favorite day of the year was the date of the Ryals Christmas Reunion. She so enjoyed spending time with her extended family.
Leola's siblings, Henry, Horace, Preston (Pet), and Jake Ryals, Sue Ryals Felton and Sara Ryals Peedin, predeceased her. She also was predeceased by her daughter in law, Judy Price White. Leola is survived by her three sons, Vauclain Winston Barnes, Jr. of Selma, and his longtime girlfriend, Johanne Pryor, Thomas Edward White and his wife, Donita Austin White, of Selma, and Christopher Lewis White and his wife Danita Morgan, of Raleigh. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Emily White Casey and her husband Brandon, Matthew White and his wife, Robyn Creech White, Patrick White, Kara and Jon Fisher, and Krista Small. Leola's great grandchildren are Bennett Casey, Camdyn, Grayson and Lennon Fisher, and Whitt English.
The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 12 at Parrish Funeral Home in Selma. Reverend Joseph Franklin and Reverend Jim Bolyard will officiate. Visitation will follow the service. Burial will take place at the Benson City Cemetery in Benson, North Carolina.
Leola's family would like to thank the loving staff of Autumn Home Care, the nursing staff of 3HC Home Health Care, and Dr. Shubi Shahida and her staff, for their compassionate and excellent care.
Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Pine Level and mailed to the church at Post Office Box 354, Pine Level, North Carolina 27568.
Published in The News & Observer on Apr. 11, 2014