On July 29, 2023 our family matriarch Dorothy Estelle Atkins Butler left us for the great mountain in the heavens at 100 years of age. Dorothy who fondly was known as Dot, Mama Dot, and Hot Dot, was born in Old Hickory, Tennessee to Molly and Ted Atkins. She is preceded in death by her parents and brothers Charles William Atkins, Frederick Cole Atkins, Elmer Cass Atkins, Edward Thomas Atkins, and sisters Mary Augusta Ross, Elsie Marie Morrison, and Jeane Madalene Jaynes.
Dorothy would live to see many things during her 100 years on earth. Moves from Oak Ridge Tennessee, to India, and living in Luling Louisiana for the last half of her life. She was a member of New Life Community Church which will have a celebration of life in September 2023. Multiple pandemics, the Depression, and even in her 80’s would learn new technology such as email, texting, and even Facebook. She watched technology change time and time again. While she had traveled the world, she found the greatest peace in her mountain property at a beautiful setting called Top of the World. She would create many memories with our family on that land. It was meant to be a place which brought us all together and it did. Dorothy loved camping in her Shasta camper and would relish each moment she could spending time walking through our forest locating lady slippers and even at times whispering to a bear to go on home and not to steal her cookies. She feared nothing and tried everything at least one time. This included several years living in India which she embraced with a full heart. She was a modest but an incredibly worldly woman who made the best of every single day of her phenomenal life. She never allowed any of us to wallow in self-pity but instead said “make it different today”. Dorothy always lived what she preached.
We like to joke that even though dementia took her to a different place toward the last years of her life, she remained a leader among her friends at The Groves Assisted Living Facility in Oak Ridge. She even during her time there tried to organized an escape of the memory care unit with a number of the ladies, at her side trying to complete the great escape. She was well loved at The Groves just as she had been in all places her life took her.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her beloved husband Charles Sinclair Butler Sr. after 38 years of marriage. Her husband was gone too young and too soon in life. Also, special friend Buck Kirby who was her lovely traveling companion and dearest friend until his death in 2010. Son in laws, Larry Hampton and James Kennedy and Great Grandchild Calab Curtin and Grandchild Dorothy Claire McNeal also preceded her in death.
Dorothy was survived by four children, Claire Butler McNeal, Molly Butler Hampton, Charles Butler Jr (Valerie) and Wendy Butler Kennedy and their children Dameian Curtin (Jerry), Devon Zeringue (Jared) Ericia Sellers, Karen Dypolt, Brian McNeal (Emily), Nicole Goforth, Joshua Goforth, Cheri Duckett (Gary), Kristen Matheson, Mitchell Lemoine (Kendra), Daniel Lemoine (Blythe) and Ashley Lemoine. Great Grandchildren, Logan Dypolt (Miranda), Taylor, Makenzie and Colton McNeal, Angel Krebbs (Hawk), Raven Goforth, Elizabeth Harris (Noah), Jamie Sexton, Ashley Matheson, Justin Matheson, Cameron, Caleb, Cole and Bronn Lemoine. Marigny and Bellamy Curtin, Aiden and Marley Zeringue, and Great Great Grandchildren Wyatt, Georgia, and Riley Dypolt, Hadley Webber, Emberly Harris, and Amora Krebbs. And special son in law Jay Lemoine.
Dorothy made that which was broken beautiful, and she made strong look invincible. As she walked through our world with the life upon her shoulders, she appeared to have wings as she could always be in all places with you when you needed her. How missed she will be in our hearts and our lives.
We will find you upon our mountain. You will be in each thought and every deep breath in which we take. We will see you in the blooms of the laurels. We will hear you in the rushing sound of the creek. We will see you in the animals who peacefully find comfort upon our land. And when the sun hits just right we will see you standing in the light as we smile at your beautiful memory. We will find you in the campfires in which we so loved sitting around with you. Each one of us being given the gift of life, love, hope, because of you. May you rest well as you enjoy the days on your mountain with your husband who you have missed so very long. And may you wait patiently as each of us comes to join you in our mountain
in the sky.