Cherry Blossoms

Marjorie Butler

April 12, 2020


Marjorie Headley Butler, age 86, died peacefully at her Monmouth, Illinois home of almost 60 years on Easter Sunday April 12, 2020.

Marjorie was born April 30, 1933 in Terre Haute Township, IL to Clara Florence Headley (Nee Johnson) and Joseph Henry Headley.  Marjorie grew up in the country, living on farms in Hancock and McDonough counties.

She was an accomplished pianist and singer from a very early age.  She sang in choirs and oratorio societies, performed solos and duets with her husband and daughter, and accompanied many singers and instrumentalists on both piano and organ. In high school she accompanied the male chorus at the the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) in Kansas City, MO.  

Marjorie was the President of her high school Junior Class and successfully led a fundraising initiative for an all-expenses-paid 10-day senior class trip for all seniors to Biloxi, MS.  In high school she was a delegate to the National Future  Homemakers of American (FHA) convention in Columbus, Ohio.   She graduated from La Harpe High School in 1951 as Salutatorian.  
Marjorie attended the University of Illinois and graduated with a B.S. in Home Economics in 1955 from the College of Agriculture.  She lived in McKinley Hall on Wright Street.  At the University of Illinois she was President of the Home Economics Council and worked on the staff of the Illio, the University of Illinois yearbook.  She also sang in the McKinley Presbyterian Church choir.

After graduation she became an Assistant Home Advisor for Warren County where she worked with 4-H clubs, among other duties, until her marriage to Ralph David Butler, of Rockford, Illinois, on June 23, 1956 in the First Presbyterian Church of Macomb, IL. 

After her marriage, Marjorie lived at the Naval Ammunition Depot in Crane, IN while Ralph was serving in the Navy.  While there Marjorie played the organ for the naval base chapel. Marjorie and Ralph moved to Ann Arbor, MI in 1957 and Marjorie was manager of the Country House furniture store in Ypsilanti, MI while Ralph was in law school.  She sang in the First Presbyterian Church choir and their daughter Ann Marie was born in Ann Arbor. 

In 1960 the couple moved to Monmouth, IL where their son Timothy Charles was born.   In Monmouth she served for 3 years on the first-ever Warren Achievement School Board and was the first secretary of the Board; was a member of Warren County Home Economists for 12 years and served 2 years as President;  was a member of Faith United Presbyterian Church serving on all of the boards of the church: on the Session as an ordained Elder, as a Deacon, and as a Trustee.  She taught Sunday School for 10 years, taught Bible School for 9 years, and was director of music for elementary-age children.   She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Maple Leaf Community Concert series for 7 years; a Crimson Clan volunteer; a Head Start Volunteer; helped with the fund drives for the United Way, the American Cancer Association, and the American Heart Association; and was a member of OGM.

Marjorie was an active member in P.E.O. for over 50 years, having been initiated into Chapter E, Monmouth in 1967.  As a charter member of Chapter LE, Monmouth which was founded in 1969, she served as President (twice), Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Recording Secretary.  Marjorie served as the Chair of the Illinois State P.E.O. Scholar Project for three years.  

She was the secretary and office manager of her husband's law office for twenty years until her retirement in 1998.  Since 1972, the couple has vacationed in Frankfort, MI at the Congregational Summer Assembly (CSA).  In her retirement she enjoyed several trips to Canada and European countries.

Marjorie is survived by her husband Ralph of Monmouth, IL; her daughter Ann Finnegan (Tom) of Champaign, IL; her daughter-in-law Donna Dunlap Butler; her brother Charles Headley (Carol) of Columbia, MO; and her brother Royce Headley (Joyce) of Macomb, IL; her sister-in-law Linda Butler Lantz and brother-in-law Conrad Lantz, Rockford, IL and by many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

She was predeceased in death by her parents,  Henry (1956) and  Florence (1984), her youngest brother Myron (1996) and her son Timothy (2011). 

Marjorie was a devoted wife, mother, daughter, niece, aunt, sister, and friend, full of love and life.  She is deeply missed. 

GIfts in memory of Marjorie may be directed to Chapter LE P.E.O. or the Warren County Library.

A private graveside service will be conducted and a memorial service will be held at a later date.


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