Barbara Jean Keeter White

Barbara (Bobbi or “Keetz”) Jean Keeter White joined our Lord peacefully on July 17, 2023, at her home, surrounded by family.  She was a kind, gentle soul with a free spirit who never met a stranger.  Bobbi is survived by her beloved soulmate, Calvin R. White Jr. DDS (Rudy); their three daughters, Kristin Nicole White, Ashley Noelle Abbitt, and Molly Keeter Rawlings; and her granddaughter, Carter Noelle Abbitt.  She is also survived by her loving sister, Nancy Fowler (Ronald); brother, Owen Keeter (Sandie); brother-in-law, Paul White (Loretta); son-in-law, Brandon Rawlings; several nieces; and one nephew. 

Bobbi was raised in Hilton Village and cherished her childhood growing up on Botetourt Road.  Bobbi and Rudy were high school sweethearts who started dating in 1969 and later married on August 10th, 1974, at First United Methodist Church in Newport News.  Bobbi graduated from Old Dominion University with a Master of Education and had a rewarding career as a teacher taught in the Hampton Public Schools.

She was so proud of the home she shared on Harlan Drive with Rudy and her three girls; she worked endlessly inside and outside decorating and gardening to make the family feel extra loved and friends feel comfortable and at home. Bobbi always made sure the house was suited for every holiday. Bobbie took pride in making her house feel like a home. She always made sure her home reflected the same lust for life. Bobbies creativity, imagination, and energy were channeled through her seasonal decorations. 

“Keetz” had a wildly creative side with a passion for art and decorating. Painting and drawing was a skill of hers since childhood. She cherished time making art with her daughters and granddaughter and created many joyful paintings and drawings that would make anyone smile.  One of her favorite items to paint was her annual Christmas cards.  She also enjoyed sewing and would often sew the family’s Halloween costumes.  

She loved to entertain and create homemade, gourmet meals for all of her loved ones. As Bobbi would say, “cooking is a science, and baking comes from the heart.”  Her recipes and family traditions were always cherished and will be passed down for generations to come. 

Bobbi always went the extra mile to put a smile on someone’s face.  She welcomed everyone into her home and truly tried to get to know the good in each individual, usually after finding out their birthdate.  She absolutely loved to study astrology and wasn’t afraid to let you know she herself was a strong Libra with a huge heart.  Bobbi cherished her friendships. She was blessed with many friends gathered from her time spent on Botetourt Rd., then Hilton Elementary and Ferguson High schools, and many more throughout her life.

Bobbi loved the James River and the ocean.  Growing up, she and her family visited the Outer Banks every year, and she and Rudy continued that tradition with their family.  Hatteras, NC, was one of her favorite places in the world. (She loved to joke that she was actually a reincarnated salty pirate friend of Blackbeards). Bobbi and Rudy spent most of their life around water and took many boating adventures up and down the Chesapeake Bay. 

Since their college days, Bobbi and Rudy also shared a love for collies and even helped birth a litter of collie puppies. Her genuine maternal instinct, this ability of hers to care for every living thing, is what we will all cherish and miss so much.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, July 28, 2023, at the Warwick Yacht and Country Club starting at 4 pm. All are welcome. 


  1. Missy (Gamache) Correlle

    The first time I ever saw Keeter she was sitting in the library twirling hee hair and I thought how much I wanted to be just like her. Not a shy bone in her body and strangers were just ppl she hadn’t met yet. Thankfully we became friends and I cherish the memories. Condolences to Rudy, Che, Ashley, Molly, Carter, Nancy and Owen and all the family. She’s swimming with the dolphins now. Arrgh 💕

  2. Laura Leigh (Adams) Venable

    I am saddened to hear about Bobbi’s passing and my heartfelt prayers go out to Rudy and all the family. Her spirit and personality will remain forever in my memory.

  3. Anne Cowardin

    So very sorry to hear this! Many great memories from high school to cherish. My condoences to Rudy and family. I know that she will be greatly missed!!

  4. Susie (Coleman) Haggerty

    Such sad news and, without a doubt, Bobbi will be greatly missed by all her knew her. She had such a zest for life and my heartfelt condolences go to Rudy and his family.

  5. Angie Ponzo Brown

    . Glad to have seen her again at our class reunion where she gave me the gift of her warm welcome. She had such great enthusiasm. When arranging for a reunion with some people from our GS troop this week, people all mentioned this sad news.
    She is missed.

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