Photography

Betty E. Butler

January 1, 2022

Obituary

Betty Elliott Butler of Verona, PA, formally of Fox Chapel, died peacefully on January 1, 2022 with her husband by her side. Born in East Orange, NJ on October 21, 1933 to Norman and Louise Elliott. The family settled in Radburn, NJ (Bergen County), one of the first planned communities in the country. Betty matriculated to Bucknell University, graduating in the Class of 1955 with a degree in elementary education. She was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, which chose her as their outstanding senior for contributions to the sorority, strong campus leadership and academic achievement. She married another Bucknell graduate, Linwood (Lindy) Butler, two weeks after her graduation. Betty and Lindy celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary this past June. It was a marriage of extraordinary love and a strong partnership from the beginning. One of Betty’s words to Lindy near the end was “Haven’t we been lucky.” Indeed, they were. After six corporate moves in 12 years thanks to Alcoa, the Butlers arrived in Pittsburgh in 1967. Inspired by her years of volunteering in Cleveland’s inner-city libraries, Betty enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Sciences program at the University of Pittsburgh in 1968. The Fox Chapel School District offered her a position at the newly created library attached to the Boyd Elementary School in O’Hara Township known as the Laurie Ann West Memorial Library. Over the years, it was not unusual for her to be approached by former students thanking her for helping them develop a life-long interest in reading. Betty retired after 15 years when the library closed and a community center was built on the property. She was pleased that her collection was subsequently moved to the Laurie Ann West Room in the new Cooper-Siegel Library in Fox Chapel when it opened in 2011. Betty was warm and caring and thrived on social interaction. Family always remained in the forefront with gatherings on Nantucket being the highpoint of every summer. When offered a trip to Paris or a tour of English gardens for her 80th birthday, she suggested, instead, a picnic in Central Park with her family. A life learner, Betty had a variety of interests, earning certificates in Japanese (Ikebana School) flower arranging and botanical painting. She wove a Nantucket lightship basket every summer. Passionate about gardening, she maintained gardens in Fox Chapel and Nantucket, and served on the boards of the Garden Club of Allegheny County and the Perennial Garden Club of Pittsburgh, the latter as president. Her community service was with the Borough of Fox Chapel, 10 years as a member of the Planning Commission. She was a board member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames in America and chaired the Patriotic Services Committee. In the latter, she was active in promoting interest among high school students, though their teachers, in the Pittsburgh area to enter a national essay contest, winners afforded a week in Washington, D.C. There were several local winners during Betty’s term in office. Betty was an active member of Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church, serving as Moderator of the Deacons, Stephen Minister and an Elder. She was a member of the Fox Chapel Racquet Club and the Nantucket Yacht Club. Tennis and paddle tennis were sports she embraced. The family wishes to especially thank the staff, care-givers and the Heartland Hospice for the love and care Betty received during her time at the Hanna Health Care unit at Longwood at Oakmont. Betty is survived by her husband Lindy, and her three children, Geoffrey E. Butler (Fabia) of Mill Valley, CA, Cynthia B. Danforth (Jonathan) of Boston, and Bradford L. Butler (Priscilla) of New York, NY. She was affectionately known as “Grandy” by her six grandchildren – Lindsey Rogers Gonnella (Christopher), John F. Rogers IV (Ilene), Natalie Butler Smith (Medrick), Bradford L. Butler, Reese C. Butler and Amelia K. Butler, and two great granddaughters, Harper and Quinn Gonnella. Interment will be private. A memorial service will be held at a later date. If you wish, memorial donations may be made to the Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church, 384 Fox Chapel Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238; and the Cooper-Siegel Community Library, Laurie Ann West Room, 403 Fox Chapel Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15238.  Arrangements by John A. Freyvogel Sons, Inc. (freyvogelfuneralhome.com)

 

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