Elizabeth Phelps, third
daughter and fifth child of Orson Ashael and Rebecca H. Allen Phelps
was born in Mesa, July 21, 1917. Early schooling was in
Chandler where Rebecca taught school. Beginning with the 6th grade
until high school graduation in 1934, she attended the Mesa schools.
Many school days were missed because of serious asthma problems.
Some of those days were spent with Rebecca’s sister, Adelaide
Peterson, and others
with Orson’s sister, Hattie Miller, until she
was able to care for herself. Fortunately, she outgrew this malady
as the years went by.
The Phelps home was filled with spirituality, love and music. The
Gospel of Jesus Christ was stressed, and the development of natural
With all that encouragement from family and
teachers, Elizabeth was called upon to sing often, including
funerals of dear relatives, her high school music
teacher, Harry Harelson, prepared her to audition for a scholarship to attend
Arizona State Teachers College in Flagstaff (Now NAU). She became a
certified to teach music in all grades, elementary through
high school. The majority of her 30 years of teaching were in choral
music. In 1981 she was
awarded the Arizona Music Educator of the
Year. In 1995 she received the Retired Music Educator Service Award.
It was at ASTC that Elizabeth met and, after two ye of teaching,
married John C. White, a boy raised in Oatman, Arizona. He was an
educator too, and
when he retired he had served 30 years as a
teacher and administrator in Arizona schools, mainly Mesa.
Elizabeth and John have filled many positions in the church. They
served a mission in New Zealand, with John as director of the
Visitors’ Center in
Temple View. They have been blessed with three
children who have been married in the Arizona Temple. The children
and 17 grandchildren bring honor
to their names.
Elizabeth with 10 of their 28 great-grandchildren. Listed L-R
with Parents name in parentheses.
Larson (Jennifer White Larson), Riley Larson (Jennifer White
Larson), Devin (Kevin White), Ashlynn White (Jason White),
(Christian Egan), Tucker Mear (Kelly Egan Mear), Brinnley White
(Jason White), Ella Mear (Kelly Egan Mear),
Spencer White (John
Bennett White) and Annie White (John Bennett White).