Cover photo for Thomas Russell Butler's Obituary
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Thomas Russell Butler

December 23, 1930 — May 12, 2024

Elberton, GA

Thomas Russell Butler

Mr. Thomas ‘Russell’ Butler, husband of Betty Jo Oakley Butler, finished his course in faith on Sunday, May 12, 2024, peacefully at his home on Athens Highway in Elberton, at the age of 93. 


Russell was born in Elberton on December 23, 1930, the second of three children of Jasper Raymond Butler and Allie Mae Brown Butler. He worked at Jones Appliance during high school before joining the United States Army, and it was during this time he met his future bride, Betty Jo Oakley. After serving in the Korean War, he returned to Elberton and married Betty Jo one week later. 


Russell was an ordained deacon and member of Doves Creek Baptist Church and retired from the granite industry after many years of service as a stone polisher. As the unofficial handyman of the Sweet City Community, he was always willing to lend a hand to anyone in need. He was an avid outdoorsman who could often be found tinkering on his Kubota tractor. He looked forward to planting and working a large garden each year. Russell looked forward to trips to the mountains and enjoyed camping. He never turned down any candy, especially a Hershey’s Kiss. 


Above all, “P-Pa” loved his family dearly. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Betty Jo Oakley Butler; daughter and son-in-law, Dennis and Kay Young; sister, Anna Margaret Craft; grandchildren and their spouses: Bridget and Joseph Hilliard and Blake and Ashley Young; great-grandchildren: Natalie Hilliard, Hannah Hilliard, Emerson Brown, Satcher Young, and Wrenley Young; and a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives. 


In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his brother, James Milton Butler. 


Funeral services celebrating Russell’s life will be held on Wednesday, May 15, at 2:00 p.m. in the Memorial Chapel of Berry Funeral Home with the Rev. Bill Stacey officiating. Entombment will follow in the Forest Hills Memorial Park Mausoleum with Ron Craft, Ray Craft, Mike Ragsdale, Mark Anderson, Carey Butler, and Cecil Oakley, Jr. honored to serve as pallbearers. 


There will be no formal visitation at the funeral home; however, the family invites friends to visit at the home, 1680 Athens Highway, Elberton. Russell will lie in state at the funeral home on Tuesday and Wednesday for those wishing to pay their respects and sign the guestbook.


In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to First Baptist Church of Elberton Ramp Ministry, 132 Heard Street, Elberton, GA 30635. 


Those wishing may sign the online guestbook at 


Berry Funeral Home & Crematory of Elberton is respectfully in charge of arrangements for Mr. Thomas ‘Russell’ Butler.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Russell Butler, please visit our flower store.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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