BRUNSWICK — Mary Elizabeth Johnson Butler, 91, died Oct. 16 in Brunswick. Born at the family home in Topsham on Sept. 28, 1921, to Arthur Berry and Angela (Hazelton) Johnson, she attended Topsham schools and graduated from Brunswick High School in 1938.  

Butler attended Wellesley College, graduating in 1942. She then worked as a cub reporter and photographer for The Brunswick Record. Butler went on to serve as the editor of The Connecticut Alcoan, the house publication for Aluminum Company of America in Bridgeport-Fairfield, Conn. during World War II, and then served as a radio writer at WRNL-AM in Richmond, Va.  

In 1947, she returned to Brunswick to become the executive director of the Brunswick chapter of the American Red Cross, where she met Edward Eric Butler, one of the many World War II veterans attending Bowdoin College. The couple were married in 1947 and Mary turned her talents to raising their children Katherine, Elizabeth and Edward Eric Butler, Jr.   

Butler eventually returned to her professional career as director for alumnae giving at Wellesley College, strengthening her lifelong love for the college and its mission of educating strong women. In 1986, the couple retired to Brunswick, where she pursued her lifelong love of learning, sailing, gardening, painting and writing.

She is survived by her husband, Edward; her three children, Katherine, Elizabeth, and Edward Eric Butler, Jr.; and a grandson, Benjamin Allen Butler.   

She was predeceased by her brothers Arthur Berry Johnson, Jr. and Clarence Hazelton Johnson and sisters Helen Johnson Dudley, Angela Johnson Fellows and Ruth Johnson McCarter

A memorial service was held Oct. 20 at St. Paul’s Church in Brunswick. Interment was in Riverview Cemetery, Topsham.

Arrangements are by Stetson’s Funeral Home, 12 Federal St., Brunswick. Memorial condolences may be expressed at

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Mary Elizabeth Johnson Butler