Lela (Weinhold) Butery, 59, of St. James, passed away on Friday, June 6, 2008 at the Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla, MO after a lengthy illness.
Lela was born on March 23, 1949 in Cape Girardeau, MO. She was the fifth child born to the late Edgar and Sylvia (Kassel) Weinhold. Lela grew up on a farm near Frohna, MO and graduated from Perryville High School in 1967. She attended college at Southeast Missouri University in Cape Girardeau, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1971. During the summers of her high school and college years, she often worked as a nanny for a family in St. Louis.
While teaching in the primary grades in Viburnum and living in the Bixby area in Missouri, she met and later married Larry Butery. They were wed on May 25, 1974, at Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, MO. After their wedding, Lela and Larry moved to St. James, MO where Lela taught at Lucy Wortham James Elementary School until she retired in 2003. After retiring from 31 years of teaching she returned to tutor students one-on-one. Even while going through treatment for cancer, she worked to touch the lives of children.
But first and foremost, Lela enjoyed her family. Throughout her life, she had four loves – her husband, Larry; her sons, Steven and Eric, and teaching. Lela also liked spending time with her extended family and would go to dinners at Grandma's each week to visit with everyone and each Christmas Eve, she would play games with the kids and adults. She also loved embroidering, reading, working in her yard and spending time with friends. Several friends (especially Carmen Liesman) were so very generous with their time and assistance during her illness and Lela's family is so very appreciative of them.
Lela was a strong woman who always tried to be optimistic of her situations. Not one to easily show her true feelings, any time you asked how she was doing, she would reply, "OH! Pretty good!" or "I'm fine!" Her perseverance and will power were solid characteristics of her personality.
Lela was preceded in death by her husband, Larry, on June 4, 1997. She is survived by their two sons, Steven Butery of St. James and Eric Butery and fiancée, Talia Merritt of Fargo, North Dakota. Other survivors include Brothers: Clarence Weinhold and wife Mary of Perryville; Marvin, Daniel and Richard Weinhold of Frohna, Mo., Terry Weinhold and wife Debbie of St. Joseph, Mo., and William Weinhold and wife Kathy of Oak Ridge, Mo. Sisters: Darlene Weinhold of San Jose, California; Marian Jarvinen and husband Larry of Manistee, Michigan; Janice Weinhold of Frohna, Mo., Gladys Barclay and husband Russell of LaGrange, Kentucky; and Pauline Bothman and husband Don of Perryville, Mo.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the American Cancer Society or to the Lucy Wortham James Elementary School Library in St. James.
Services Memorial services were held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, June 9, 2008 at the Jones Funeral Home in St. James, MO with visitation from noon until 2:00 p.m. on that day. Burial was in the family plot at the Pilot Knob Cemetery near Rolla, Mo.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Jones Funeral Home in St. James, MO.