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Mary Owen Butler, age 94, of Gainesville, Georgia, passed away on Sunday, September 23, 2018.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, O.L. “Whitey” Butler, sister, Wynell Blackwell (Bob), brothers Gene (Nellie) and Clay (Gwen) Owen. She is survived by her daughter Nancy Butler Ponder, daughter-in-law Susi Willis, sister Ruth Beard (Billy), niece and ‘honorary daughter’ Susan Blackwell Kea (Jim), as well as many other beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Mrs. Butler was born one of five children on May 21, 1924 in Waleska, Georgia. She was a graduate of Reinhardt Academy and received her Associate's degree from Reinhardt College in 1943. She graduated valedictorian from Reinhardt Academy and salutatorian from Reinhardt College. While at Reinhardt she was active in the Tri Delta Literary Society and the Debate Team. She was also a member of the Hilltop Newspaper staff. Despite a scholarship to West Georgia College, Mary chose to enter the business world and worked for 9 years at the Etowah Bank in Canton, and later the First National Bank in Gainesville.
Mrs. Butler married in 1951 and she and Whitey lived in Canton, Georgia, until they moved to Gainesville in 1956. They joined the First Baptist Church of Gainesville and both sang in the choir for 36 years. Mary was a member of the Gleaners Sunday School class. She was a longtime member of the Tallulah Falls Study Club and an award winning member of the Dogwood Garden Club. She remained active walking and playing tennis into her eighties.
Besides cheering on her beloved Georgia Bulldogs, her greatest joy was spending time with her family, especially vacations at the beach. She enjoyed many breakfast excursions to the Lantern Inn on the family pontoon boat with her family and friends. Mary and Whitey were also extensive travelers leading group tours to all points of the globe. Together they danced around the world.
The family would like to acknowledge the comfort, care, and friendship provided by Mary’s caregiver, Rebecca Tapp, over these past seven years.
Funeral services will be held in the chapel of First Baptist Church at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 26, 2018. Visitation will be held in the church parlor one hour prior to the service.
Flowers will be accepted, but those desiring may make memorial contributions to the First Baptist Church Music Ministry, 751 Green St. Gainesville, GA 30501 or Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center 2150 Limestone Parkway, Suite 222 Gainesville, GA 30501.
Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at littledavenport.com
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Ga. 30501 is in charge of arrangements.