Bahamas Press bids farewell to the Lady Sheila Butler 69 – Who was laid to rest today…


Lady Sheila Butler 1944 - 2013

Sheila Lady Paulette Butler

After being married for seven (7) years on Island of Grand Bahama, Lorenzo Aldolphus Smith and Brenhilda Smith were blessed on the 1st June, 1944 with a baby girl that they called Sheila Paulette.
She was the apple of their eyes.

Shortly after that she was admitted to school in West End, Grand Bahama and she became a consummate worker at her school work and she was introduced to housekeeping early in life.  This continued for many years as she was the oldest of four children and took on the role as housekeeper, shopkeeper and during her parents many absences to travel to the U.S. and elsewhere she was in control.  As a matter of fact, she got the skills at mothering very early and her siblings looked to her for guidance.  After her initial school life in West End, Grand Bahama, she transferred to Northwestern High School in Miami, Florida where she acquired skills in shorthand and typing. She also became an accomplished dressmaker at that time.   These skills she was able to exhibit throughout her life.  She was an extremely beautiful woman and outside any of that she was a beauty.   In 1963 when she finished school in Florida she was awarded a scholarship to Atlanta, Georgia University but she by passed that arrangement and allowed Arlington to persuade her into a marriage.

In 1964 she was engaged to Arlington Butler on the 17th August and was married on the 18th April, 1965.   She was in a trouble free arrangement with him for 48½ years and portrayed the role as a wife and homemaker of the highest order.  She was to her children a fine example of meticulousness and her deportment was at an immeasurable level.

She was a strong worker for the Sir Victor Sassoon Heart Association of which she became a volunteer and remained to the last day one of the greatest fundraiser of that organization and would be greatly missed.   She was a lover of sports and had a great opportunity to travel and accompany her husband for 46 years. Her presence was like a weapon that her husband (Arlington) had and she defended him at all times.

She became sick after the birth of her last child 39 years ago and she remained an avid fighter against the disease that she was afflicted with.   She was totally controlled in her eating and involvement with the diets.  She knew exactly what to do to keep healthy but at the end of the day, unfortunately, she was a victim of infections that afflicted her life.

In Politics and Sports Sheila  had become my encourager  never having acquired a love for politic but she was indeed a fan of   sports we had planned to go to Russia around the game time she was admitted to hospital but during the games of Moscow she followed it religiously from her hospital bed and she knew the games.

Her initial introduction to World class games was in Winnipeg in 1967 where she acquired knowledge and appreciation for various sports and she was able to take that knowledge over to Mexico 1975.  The Olympics of 1976 was the immersion into the gems of her family and all of the games she carried them with her and got them to love the games.

She was in 1970 present in Scotland for the games she was so wrapped up with athletes that she accompanied me to the University of Edinburgh hospital to register one of the athletes for an emergency appendectomy and asured his mother that he was in good hands. She travelled extensively  to games and for the purpose of sports she loved South Africa she immersed herself in the traditions of Nigeria she had immense love for Malaysia she was in many of South American countries where there were games .

In 2000 she became very close to the Williams sisters and their mother and was a part of the cheering team of their victories in the Singles and Doubles of tennis. She loved to watch Tefonillla Stevenson of Cuba box. She was in Montreal for the celebration of Hasley Crawford. In 1977 one of the most interesting trips was to Taipei I asked the government of Taipei to delay  giving me a gold medal until she had been released from hospital and  we were fortunate to be given one of three most fantastic trips of our lives.  One of our meetings in Rome she was elated that she was given the opportunity to meet the Pope. We travelled in 1982 on a European trip which turned out to be one of the most loving experience with the children. At the 100th anniversary of my University she had the opportunity to have met with my classmates of our experiences. They were all impressed that I was fortunate to have such a good wife.

Through out these times she was challenged by her illnesses but she always cooperated. One of the last major trips was the university graduation of her first grandchild it was a remarkable experience. She learnt to give people advice to be the best they could be, her greatest triumphs were in seeing people achieve things, without concern about who the person was but what they did. She loved telling Mr. Nelson Mandela he was a great man. She encouraged President Clinton to continue against adversity. There was a young man that she met at the prison she encouraged him never to return, she was able to speak at his wedding and on our 48 anniversary he was present to share his voice with us a few months ago. People who suffered from cancer she encouraged them too.

During her last stay in hospital she was visited by hundreds and she gave them all hope that she was returning to their company but this was not to be so. Hers was a devotion to family and to country her level of creativity on the sewing machine and the kitchen will be difficult to emulate. May her death remind us that no matter how beautiful or talented, we will  all die and we must live in that fashion to be remembered at our deaths.
She is survived by her Husband: Honorable Sir Arlington G. Butler; Sons: Arvin Butler and Arlington Butler; Daughters : Kara Butler- Wight and Kristal Butler- Lafleur; Adopted Daughter: Cynthia Hall; Sister: Juliet Smith; Brother: Romeo Smith; Soul Sisters: Emily Osadebay, Rose Marie Thompson ,Chistine Rolle, Valarie Clarke, Dorie Bowleg, Karen Archer and Etta Mae Grant; Uncle: Vincent Russell; Aunt: Doris Smith,Frances Russell; Brothers-in-law: Mr. Godfrey Adderley, Mr. Michael McKenzie, Rev. Michael Sands and  Peter Rahming; Sisters-in-Law: Margaret Higgins, Vanderlyn James, Valarie Smith, Pearl Rahming , Beryl Rahming, Veronica Adderley Tracey Sands and Albertha Archer; Grandsons: Vincent Antoine Butler, Wayne Mackey, Dai Major and Liam  Wight; Granddaughters: Ajah Butler and Somaya  Lafleur; Great granddaughter: Asari Mackey; Daughters-in-law: Alethia Butler and Vanessa Butler; Sons-in-law: Andrew Wight and Bandele LaFleur; Godmother: Ophelia Munnings; Right Hand Man: Hughes Valcourt; Cousins: Veronica Johnson, Flora Smith, Shirley Miller, Wheatley Russell, Glenster Smith, Marsha Smith, Gloria Forbes, Ronalee Smith, Donna Martian, Pamela Russell, Judith Russell, Carolyn Sands, Michele Roberts, Paulette Russell, Cleora Wilkinson, Rachell Bagby, Marjorie Johnson, Dennis Martian, Bertram Russell Jr., Donald Russell, Kirkland Russell Sr., Michel Russell, Sterling Russell, Norma Russell, Barry Russell, H. J. Smith, Phillys Smith, Peler Smith, and Wayne Smith. Family and Friends: Lassie Johnson McKenzie, Duvella Aranh, Remelda Sweeting, Myoshi Banks, Mr. & Mrs. Antony Rolle, Ethlyn Rolle, Cynthia Sanders, Alice Cayson, Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell Butler, Sam and Jemy Cumberbatch & Family, Mrs. Vienna Johnson & Family, Mrs. Rhonda Chipman-Johnson & Family, Mr.& Mrs. Idris Reid, Cassandra Davenport, Mr. Donald Archer & Family, Mr.& Mrs. Milo Butler III, Mrs. Winifred Butler & Family, Mrs. Anna Hall & Family, Retied Chief Justice Sir, Cynil  Fountain & Family, Sir. Durward and Lady Knowles, Mr.& Mrs. Brent Symonette, Hazel and sister, Lavaughn, Dr. Elwood Donaldson & Family, Dr. Leo Ludy, Terrance Thompson, Ms. Nathalie Colby & Family, Ms. Carolyn Barttette, Mr. A.D. Hanna & Family, Mrs. Florence Greenslade & Family, Mr.& Mrs. Henry Sunders, Mr. & Mrs. Jesubathum, Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Cambridge, Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Lafleur, Mr.& Mrs. Pierre Lafleur, Mr.& Mrs. Eric Bourne, Dino & Janelle Adams, Mr.& Mrs. Harcort Rolle, Mr.& Mrs. Anthony Thompson, Mr.& Mrs. F. Nigel Bowe, Mr.& Mrs. Brent Vanderpool, Mr.& Mrs. Austin Sealy, Mr.& Mrs. James M. Pinder, Retied Justice Emmanuel Osdebay & Family, Mr. & Mrs. John Archer & Family, Mr.& Mrs. Wendell Munnings & Family, The Rose Family, Mr. & Mrs. Wanern Levanity. Mr. and Mrs. Ravi Jesubathum & family, Mr.& Mrs. Osdbourne Sawyer & Family, Mr. & Mrs. Audley Dean and Family,  Close family friend; McDonalds Crew, Lunch Bunch, St. George Wednesday Mass members, Holy Cross Church & congregation, Sir. Victor Sassoon Heart Ball Committee, Super Supper Club at Duke and Dorie Strachan, Class of 1963 of Northwestern High School, Miami, Florida, and the breakfast crew at the Cricket Club.

Doctors & Caregivers: Dr. Lasalle LaFall, Dr. Roger Weir, Dr. Victor Scott, Dr. Cecil Bethel, Dr. Ford of Washington, D.C., Dr. Dawkins, Dr. Delton Farquharson, Dr. Thompson, Dr. Robin Roberts, Dr. Devaughn Curling, Nurse Campbell and Ms. Lorraine Smith.