Mary Lent Butler
Walked with God on November 3rd, 2013 and was no more of this Earth. She was born August 1st, 1922 in Peru, Illinois to John and Mildred Lent. A graduate of Wellesley, she went on to engineering school at the NYU Guggenheim School of Aeronautics. She went to work at Chance Vought Aircraft in Connecticut where she met the love of her life, George V. Butler. After a whirlwind courtship, they married in November 1944. George was spared the draft by the birth of their son, Richard, in December 1945 followed by Nancy in 1948 and Bette in 1953. The family moved to California in 1952 and settled in Newport Beach in 1965.
The Episcopal Church was Mary’s spiritual home but not her only one. Her creative spirit explored Chinese brush painting and later oil painting. She recognized the blessings of her life and gave it back to church and community through her volunteer work. She visited the sick and elderly. She actively engaged teens at the Youth Problem Center in the 1960’s and 1970’s. She gave out food at SOS for twenty years. She loved tutoring grade schoolers in math and reading. She embraced the teaching that ‘to lead is to serve’.
Mary and George traveled extensively and saw many parts of the world. They narrowly escaped a plane crash on their way to Antarctica in 1991 but continued to travel after that.
Mary loved to write poetry and prose; she was contemplative and prayer-full. She reached out to all and met them where they were. In the past several years, she became known in her Dover Shores neighborhood for her daily walk and trash pick-up!
Her beloved husband George and daughter Nancy were surely the first to greet her when she stepped into the light. Others awaiting her were her parents, brothers John and Fred, sisters Fannie, Ruth and Nancy. She is survived by her children Richard (Ruth) Butler, Bette Butler and Dennis Smeage; and seven grandchildren - Julie, Michael, Richard, Nadia, Melanie, Delaney, and Kyriel; and three great grand-daughters - Taylor, Riley and Liberty; her sisters Marjorie Garrard and Jane (Bill) Baldau. In addition are numerous nieces and nephews and their families, all of whom were dear to her. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 9th at Saint John the Divine Episcopal Church in Costa Mesa of which she was a pillar. Remembrances may be made to Saint John’s, Doctors Without Borders or a charity of your choosing.
Mary Lent Butler