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Sister Ruth White Atkins was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 9, 1915 to Mr. Quintus White, Sr., and Rosa Branick White. She was the older sister of the late Quintus White, Jr. of Los Angeles, California. At the age of 12, she lost her mother to pneumonia and she and her brother then lived with her maternal grandmother, a school custodian, on the campus of Thomy Lafon Elementary School. Ruth, being a dutiful granddaughter, worked with her grandmother cleaning and maintaining the school. She attended Edgar P. Harney Elementary School and continued her education at McDonogh 35 High School and graduated after completing 11th grade. She later majored in education at Xavier University of Louisiana. Her plans changed suddenly when her grandmother died and she was asked to become a custodian at Thomy Lafon Elementary School. She was later transferred to James Weldon Johnson Elementary School where she became the first African American female head custodian in the New Orleans Public School System. In 1948, she married Cleveland Gustave and in 1951 gave birth to the late Dolores Gustave. Ruth had a wonderful life being a mother, a member of the Happy Twenty's Social and Pleasure Club and a deaconess at Carver Desire Baptist Church. In 1976, she retired from her position with the New Orleans Public School System. Ruth Atkins entered into eternal rest on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at the age of 102. She is bereaved by her granddaughter, Karen Rene' Gustave, nieces, great nieces and great nephews in Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas, Florence Durrell, Luberta Lucien, Jackie Gamble, Tiffani and Tara Osbey, friends and Carver Desire Baptist Church family.
Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend a Funeral Service at Carver Desire Baptist Church, 3301 Montegut St., on Friday, September 1, 2017 at 10:00 am; Visitation begins at 9:00 am; Interment: Mount Olivet Cemetery; Arrangements by D.W. Rhodes Funeral Home, 3933 Washington Ave. Please visit www.rhodesfuneral.com to sign the online guestbook.