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Jane ‘Jennie’ Butler, 87, of Lenox

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By Monday, Jan 7, 2019 Obituaries

Jane “Jennie” B. Butler, 87, of Lenox died unexpectedly Tuesday, Jan. 1, as the result of a fall. Her family was with her.

Jane ‘Jennie’ Butler

Born Oct. 23, 1931, in Brookline to the late Edward Mauran and Julia (Blake) Beals, she attended Windsor School in Brookline and Garrison Forest School in Owings Mills, Maryland. She graduated from Radcliffe College in Cambridge in 1954. Jennie spent her childhood summers at her grandmother’s house in Lenox and moved permanently to the Berkshires in the early 1960s, teaching at the Pine Cobble School in Williamstown. She met her husband, F. Brooks Butler, in Lenox, and they were married June 16, 1962. Jennie and Brooks raised their children in Lenox. Brooks predeceased her Feb. 22, 1999.

Her great loves were history and teaching, especially the history of World War I, which she wrote about and studied extensively. A devoted teacher, Jennie taught primarily at Berkshire Country Day School, as well as at Miss Hall’s School. Though history was her preferred topic, she taught English and math, as well. She was proud to self-publish “A Force Unfamiliar to Me,” a memoir that included the writings of her son Peter. When not teaching or reading, she was an avid lover of the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Jennie served on the boards of both the Northeast chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Literacy Network of South Berkshire, where she was also a literacy tutor. For many years she also read for Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic. After retiring from teaching, she volunteered for over 25 years at the Pittsfield Adult Learning Center where she helped adults earn their GEDs and taught English as a second language. In the last years of her life, her greatest joy was spending time with her granddaughter, gardening, and swimming in the summer.

Jennie is survived by her children Carolyn Butler of Lenox, and Tom Butler and wife Jenny Maguire of Beacon, New York; granddaughter Brooks Butler Maguire; and siblings Margaret Beals of New York City and Isabella Frost of Brookline. Besides her husband, she was predeceased by her children Julia Butler and Peter Butler, and by her sister Julia Beals.

There was a private burial held Jan. 4, and a memorial service will be planned for the spring. Donations in Jennie’s memory may be made to the Lenox Library, Literacy Network of South Berkshire and Berkshire Natural Resources Council in care of the Roche Funeral Home, 120 Main St., Lenox, MA 01240. To share memories and stories, visit rochefuneralhome.com.

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