Anna Lois (Kelly) Butler, 97, surrounded by her loving family, passed away in her sleep at home on Friday, March 8, 2019 in Bowling Green, where she lived with her daughter and son-in-law.
Lois was born on December 16, 1921 on the family farm in Maceo, to the late Robert Lewis and Eula (Ellis) Kelly. The family later moved to Owensboro where she attended Washington Elementary and Owensboro Junior High and studied piano with Ms. Flora Lee Birkhead and voice with Ms. Margaret Snyder. After graduating from Owensboro High School in 1939, she enrolled at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri where she majored in music with a concentration in classical piano and voice, capping her tenure at Stephens performing the soprano solo role in Handel’s Messiah. Before her junior year, she returned to Owensboro at the height of World War II to assist at daycare facilities for children of families working on the war effort. During this time she and a young Ira Taylor of Owensboro hosted a weekly live radio program, “The Paradise Kitten Hour”, on local AM station WOMI where the two sang musical duets reminiscent of Nelson Eddy and Janette MacDonald. The program was sponsored by Baker-Vaughn Shoe Company of Owensboro, co-owned by her uncle and aunt, Carl and Verna Vaughn. After the war, she enrolled at Georgetown College where she was a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority and sweet heart of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. This is where she would meet her future husband of 55 years, Donald “Quack” Alexander Butler of Owensboro, who lovingly called her “Miss Blue” because of the color of her eyes. After college, the two returned to Owensboro where they were married and started their family. Lois was a homemaker, substitute music teacher, piano teacher, and a member of the Owensboro Women’s Club, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Saturday Musicale. Lois was an active member of Owensboro’s First Baptist Church.
After her husband passed away in 2002, she moved to Bowling Green where, during the last 17 years of her life, she was a member of the Bowling Green First Baptist Church, the Faith Sunday School Class, the Woman’s Missionary Union, the Senior Adult Fellowship, the Women’s Ministry, and the Senior Adult Choir. She was also a member of the Bowling Green Arts Alliance, the Bowling Green Garden Club, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and served as a volunteer at Riverview. Spending time with her children and grandchildren and traveling with them was the highlight of her later years.
Lois loved her family and is survived by her daughter, Mary Alice Rockhold and her husband, Steven Richard Rockhold of Bowling Green; her son Robert Alexander Butler and his husband Robert Lowe of Santa Fe, New Mexico; her grandchildren, Kelly Ann Rockhold and Steven Richard Rockhold II of Louisville; her sister, Mary Margaret Hamblen of Owensboro, her cousins Martha (Kelly) Sandefur and her husband JT of Bowling Green, and Helen (Kelly) Randall and her husband Dr. Frank Randall of Lexington; and beloved cousins, a nephew, a great nephew, and a great niece.
The Funeral Service for Anna Lois Butler will be 2:00 P.M. Wednesday, March 13, at Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory. Private entombment will be in Owensboro Memorial Gardens Mausoleum. Visitation will be from 10:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. Wednesday at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Children’s Ministry of the First Baptist Church of Bowling Green, 621 E. 12th. Avenue, Bowling Green, KY 42101. Memories and condolences for the family of Anna Lois Butler can be shared at www.glenncares.com.