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Elizabeth 'Betty' Tolbert Butler

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TUCSON, Ariz. - Elizabeth "Betty" Tolbert Butler, granddaughter of Missoula forefather R.H. McKay, passed away Monday, Nov. 28, 2005, following lifelong service to mankind.

Betty was born in Palo Alto, Calif., raised in Missoula, and attended Paxson and Roosevelt grade schools. A 1954 Missoula County High School graduate, Betty was active in Rainbow, girls choir, was on the honor roll and involved with Girl Scouts.

During summers she worked with her grandfather, R.H. McKay, at the McKay Art Co. Betty also enjoyed horseback riding and sailing at Flathead Lake as well as a having a passion for bridge, tennis and extensive travel.

Her formal education continued at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where she met and married her first husband Bruce Thomson, with whom she raised five children.

She moved to Tucson in 1985, where she subsequently met her second husband Stokes Tolbert; they married in 1993 and enjoyed a 12-year honeymoon.

Throughout, Betty was active in community affairs. During her 20-year tenure with the Girl Scout Council of Greater Minneapolis she led the largest capital campaign in the council history. She served as chair of its board of directors, and constantly taught and promoted self-reliance and independence to young women.

In Tucson, Betty led a major gift appeal and capital campaign as president of the docent program at the Tucson Museum of Art where she also served on the board of directors. She became a major contributor to the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, and served on its board of directors from 1997 to 2003. She was for many years a devoted member and supporter of the Assistance League of Tucson. A major concern in all of these activities was not only to give but also to encourage others to give to good causes.

Betty was also active in the St. Albans church choir.

Mrs. Tolbert is survived by her husband Stokes; her siblings, John, Richard and Barbara (Dan); first husband Bruce Thomson; her five children, Barbara (Bob), Jean (Brad), Mac (Sandy), Michael (Robin) and Jane (Sada); and 13 grandchildren.

Donations in Mrs. Tolbert's name may be made to the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or to the Community Food Bank of Tucson.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at St. Albans Episcopal Church, on the west side of Sabino Canyon Road in Tucson.

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