Obituaries

Nell Butler

December 6, 1936 – May 3, 2022

Mrs. Nell Butler, age 85 of Hope, Arkansas, passed away Wednesday May 4, 2022, in Texarkana, Texas. Nell was born on December 6. 1936, in Laneburg, Arkansas to Malvern “Mal” and Alene “Muggie” Purtle Ellis. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Harrell Butler, two sisters Betty Oswalt, and Alma Dillard.

Survivors include: three sons Richard Butler (Julia) Mike Butler (Susiei) Kelly Butler (Tammy) one daughter, Shelly Butler (Susan Barr) five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, numerous relatives and friends.

Visitation will be 1:00pm to 2:00pm on Saturday May 7, 2022, at BRAZZEL/Oakcrest 1001 South Main Hope, Arkansas.

Funeral service will be 2:00pm following visitation at BRAZZEL/Oakcrest

In addition to her first husband of 46 years, and the father of her four children, Harrell Butler, preceding her in death, Nell was also preceded in death by her second husband, Jessie Royce Langston. Initially widowed at 63, Nell was blessed to have reunited later in her life with Jessie Royce, a friend she had known almost all of her life. They were married and Mr. Royce and his entire family was truly a blessing, a comfort and a source of much happiness and laughter to Nell at a time when it was much needed.

Nell worked briefly outside the home but primarily she was a loving wife and a skilled homemaker. She was widely know as an exceptional cook and baker and she took great pride and joy providing meals for family, friends and strangers.

But the role she seemed created for and embraced wholeheartedly was that as a mother to her three rambunctious sons and her beautiful baby girl, each with their own demanding needs and expectations from a mother. With a long-haul trucker as her husband and family provider, Nell  almost single-handedly raised her children, providing both love and discipline to her (almost perfect) children. Nell took great pleasure in teaching her kids and made sure they always took full advantage of educational opportunities presented to them. Nell could artfully stretch the family budget to meet all of her children’s needs. Nell loved playing basketball as a child and in high school she played forward for the Laneburg Hornets. She passed on her love of sports to her boys. Though their lack of skills and interest in basketball may have disappointed her,  Nell attended, encouraged and volunteered when needed to support all of her children’s activities. Nell managed to provide the unique love, attention and care needed for each child to grow and flourish. Even as adults with their own children, and grandchildren, each of Nell’s four children continued to receive her completete love and attention until her last days on earth. Although parents are not supposed to choose a favorite child, Nell most assuredly had a favorite. Just ask her kids as they each felt such amazingly unending and unconditional love from their Mom that they truly believe they had to have been her favorite. For all of the love and care showered on those she loved so deeply, Nell expected so little in return. Each child learned by her sacrificial example and returned that love to her. All of them surrounded her on the day, praying for her comfort as she departed this world, mourning their loss but rejoicing with the Blessed Assurance that is offered to all through Christ Jesus.

Nell accepted Christ as her Savior as a teenager and was baptized in the long-standing outdoor spring-fed facility at Union Baptist in Bodcaw. Nell was a 60+ year member of Unity Baptist Church in Hope. For many years she was active in Sunday School classes, helping with VBS and loved providing food in support of grieving families. She made sure her children were raised in the church, sometimes requiring a bit of prodding, and all four accepted Christ at and were baptized at Unity. Because of her Godly example  and through the love of God and his Son who died for our sins, Nell departed this life knowing she would spend eternity with her family.

Nell was known lovingly to all her adored grandchildren and great-grandchildren as “Moma Nell.” She treated each one of them equally but loved them uniquely. She so enjoyed the days and even weeks that each child was able to spend with her during their early years. She loved spending time with each of them them in her kitchen teaching them how to make biscuits and her special chocolate cake. She loved singing & playing with them and hearing them laugh. One grandchild, at a very young age officially proclaimed her Moma Nell to be the “Best Cooker in the World!” She loved traveling to watch them participate in sports and other activities. Just as she taught her own children to love and respect each other and the world around them, she also passed this down to her grands and greats. The fly-swatter she kept her kids in line with became more of an instrument used for it’s intended purposes with the grands, but she was not afraid to use a few loosely veiled threats to remind them who the boss was in the rare occasion the need arose. Nell’s grandchildren included Beth Davis, Cole (Kelly) Butler, Jessie (Kyle) Herron, Kelsey (Peter) Harrison, and Zoe Butler. Her great-grandchildren included Skylar (Benjamin) Berg, Peyton Parker, Lanee Nell Butler and Hank Herron.

Nell’s sisters both preceded her in death. Alma, tragically, passed away much to soon as a young mother in her early twenties. Betty, the eldest of the sisters, was Nell’s best friend, frequent partner in many travelling adventures and together they were keepers of all the family gossip! They were like two peas in a pod and made life for each other and those around them full of life and laughter and a genuine hoot!

Nell leaves behind a host of in-laws, steps, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, too numerous to list by name for fear of leaving a single special person out. She loved and was loved by many. Each of you individually felt that love and you know you were treasured by her for the role you played in her heart.

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