What a woman! Yes, that’s the message heard at the recent memorial service for Beverly White, former state Representative and strong advocate for equal rights and equality for women.
A large audience heard praises of a life well-lived through community, state and national service. Bev’s positive attitude was reflected in talks given by each of her five adult children. Each had the audience laughing by recapping their memories of their moms, interjected with some emotional pauses to hold back tears.
There were so many recognitions and awards given to Bev, there is no need to list them all here. Most are related to her advocacy for equity and fairness for women. As a legislator she sponsored and supported women’s issues and even sponsored one bill for “dometic housewives.” Her idea was to recognize the monetary value of work in the home.
She was criticized for her sponsorship of the Equal Rights Amendment to the national Constitution. However, I believe the criticism never bothered her.
Personally, I loved Bev’s personality. When she was appointed to the State Board of Pardons, rather than being offended by prisoners referring to her as a “broad” — a term evidently still used by criminals — she got a kick out of a letter addressed to: “Beverly White, Broad of Corecttions.”
From our conversation, there could have been a method to her sharing this letter with me. She then asked me to sing with her and two others at a Sacrament Service. This would be at the state prison. Of course I had to accept it; it was Bev!
One Sunday afternoon in the early seventies, I received a call from then Gov. Calvin Rampton. He said, “You know that with Chileon Halliday’s death — Tooele County’s state Representative — I must appoint a successor. Whom would you suggest?”
Without reservation I said, “Beverly White.”
My recommendation, along with others, was accepted. I have never questioned that appointment.
What a woman was Beverly White?