Josephine Eldridge Butler

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  • "I remember an encouraging, positive person. Though a first..."
    - Trish McGehee Sargent
  • "We remember with great pleasure our many times together..."
    - Ken and Pat O'Driscoll
  • "Josephine was my very favorite of all of my mother's..."
  • "David and Genie Boothby"
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Josephine Eldridge Butler, 93, died December 23rd, 2013 in Gainesville, Florida.

Born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, she attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received a B.S. in Pharmacy. During her time at the university, she worked part-time to help pay for her tuition and to help support her family.

Josephine married George Bergen Butler in 1944. In 1946 George and Josephine moved to Gainesville, Florida where George began teaching as an instructor in the Chemistry Department at the University of Florida. During her time in Gainesville, Josephine worked part-time as a Pharmacist and raised two children. Josephine allowed her children to "set their own course" and provided advice and gentle discipline as needed. She enjoyed reading and was an avid golfer and bridge player. She was a long time member of First Presbyterian Church.

Josephine is especially remembered by the many graduate students and postdoctoral associates who worked under the direction of Professor Butler during his career at the University of Florida. Students experienced her hospitality at summer picnics at their beloved lake place. Students could always count on her for support, advice and friendship. She accompanied Professor Butler on numerous trips both in the U.S. and abroad to help support him in his career. Her loyalty and support were recognized by the inclusion of her name in The George and Josephine Butler Polymer Research Laboratory at the University of Florida.

Josephine is survived by her daughter Barbara Ward of Nashville, Tennessee; son George B. Butler, Jr. of Birmingham, Alabama; and grandchildren Kathryn, Jim, and Beth.

Funeral services will be conducted Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 11:00 A.M., in the First Presbyterian Church of Gainesville, 300 SW 2nd Avenue, with The Rev. Dr. Robert Shettler, officiating. A reception will be held in the Oak Room at Oak Hammock at 2:00 P.M., following the service.

Arrangements are under the care of WILLIAMS-THOMAS FUNERAL HOME DOWNTOWN, 404 North Main Street, Gainesville. Please visit her memorial page at:




In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Pharmacy Foundation of North Carolina, Inc. Josephine Eldridge Butler Fund (474729) 194 Finley Golf Course Rd., Suite 106, Chapel Hill, NC 27517.




(352) 376-7556

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Williams-Thomas Funeral Home Downtown
404 North Main Street
Gainesville, FL 32601
(352) 376-7556
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Published in Gainesville Sun from Dec. 29 to Dec. 30, 2013
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