Velma Mae Walton Butts, 88, of Bogart, GA, passed away Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at her residence.
A memorial service followed by a reception will be held 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 1, 2014 at St. James United Methodist Church in Athens, GA with Revs. Bill Currington and Bob Beckwith officiating.
Mrs. Butts was born November 4, 1925, in Anaheim, CA, the daughter of John Maxey Walton and Viola Mae Newsome Walton. At the age of four, her family moved to British Guiana where her parents were missionaries. After spending her childhood in South America, she and her family returned to California where she attended high school and college. After studying music and theology and graduating as an ordained minister from Azusa Pacific University, she returned to the mission fields of the Guianas of South America and later to South Africa. After serving as a teacher in South Africa, she returned to the states in 1956 where she became chairman of the music department at Frankfort Pilgrim College in Frankfort, Indiana. During this time she met the love of her life, David Phillip Butts. After their wedding in 1958, she became a homemaker and mother. Prior to moving to Bogart in 1974, she and her family spent several years in Austin, Texas. In Athens she was the first lady of the Department of Science Education at the University of Georgia for 12 years.
Mrs. Butts enjoyed life and all the opportunities it included for music, reading, traveling, gardening, studying the Bible, sharing her faith, and spending time with her family and friends. Because of her humility and her ability to be candid about her own experiences, she had the talent of helping others to think through a problem and then help them generate a solution.
Mrs. Butts is survived by her husband, Dr. David Phillip Butts; her daughter Carol Butts Montgomery of LaGrange; son Dr. Douglas Paul Butts and his wife Tamela Knight Butts of Danielsville; grandchildren Elizabeth Montgomery Scheine and her husband Michael Allan Scheine of Round Hill, VA; Christine Montgomery Eickstead and her husband Andrew Austin Eickstead of San Antonio, TX; David Patrick Stanley Butts and Rachel Genevieve Butts; great-grandchildren, Sarah Carolyn Scheine, Catherine Allison Scheine, Kylie Alaina Eickstead and Kristopher Austin Eickstead; sister Violet Walton Goins and her husband Edsel Goins; brother Paul Walton and his wife Helen Walton; a niece and several nephews.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to hospice nurses, Teresa Allen and Jamie Haddis, who lovingly cared for Velma during her last days.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the African Missions Fund at St. James United Methodist
Church in Athens, GA.
Lord & Stephens West is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Jan. 26, 2014