Mary Henagan King Butler

Mary Henagan King Butler, 98, passed away peacefully in her sleep on December 30, 2019. Mary was born on November 4, 1921 in Fort Motte, SC. She was the daughter of the late Barrington Clemens King and Marion Henagan King.  Mary is survived by her sister, Marion King Tompkins McArthur of Columbia, SC and a sister-in-law, Connie King of Montverde, Florida, wife of Mary’s predeceased brother, Barrington Clemens King, Jr.  Also surviving her are her 4 children:  Mary Anne (and Bob) Sharp of Savannah, GA and their 2 children: Alec (and Cindy) Sharp and Mary Schane Johnson; Ken (and Deanie) Butler of Charleston, SC, and their 2 children: Ashley (and Taso) Chakeris and Brittany Butler; Buff (and the late Chuck) Winter of Charlotte, NC, and their 3 children: Lauren (and Brian) Scott, Ryan Winter, and Kendall Winter; and Jan Butler of Columbia, SC.  She was also blessed with 12 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren as well as many wonderful nephews and nieces, all of whom she loved dearly.


Mary grew up in Columbia, SC. She attended Queens College in Charlotte, NC; then transferred to the University of South Carolina where she was elected USC’s first homecoming queen in 1941. While in college she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and graduated in 1942. 

Soon after college she met E. K. Butler and it was love at first sight. They were married on September 11, 1943 after a short engagement.  WWII threatened their love, but E.K. safely returned home and they were blessed with 4 children during their 45 years together. Their wonderful marriage ended too soon when E.K. died in May of 1988. 

Mary began her teaching career at AC Moore Elementary School. She then taught at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School until she retired. She made learning fun and was loved by all of her students, many of whom would often call her mom. 

Mary was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Dianthus Garden Club and other social organizations. She and E.K. were founding members of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Columbia, SC. She sang in the choir, helped with the church outreach meal programs, and altar guild.  Later in life she and E.K. started a Bible class for “seniors”. She was active in the church until she could no longer attend due to her health.

Mary was a remarkable woman who had a gentle and kind demeanor. She never met a stranger, and those whom she befriended always remembered her. We thank God for her and the impact she had on our family, the students she taught and the friends she accumulated over the years. Her loving smile and welcoming heart will remain with us as long as we live. 

What a great God and Redeemer we have that gives us the high privilege of having a family member like “Mama B”- as she was called by all her grandchildren and those who loved her.  The family is deeply grateful for the love and care shown to Mary and her family by the wonderful staff at Columbia Foot Clinic, South Carolina House Calls, Providence Home Health, and Agapé Hospice House.

A service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, January 4 at 2 PM at St. Martin's-in-the Fields Episcopal Church, 5220 Clemson Avenue; followed by a brief graveside service at Greenlawn Memorial Park. Friends will be received immediately following at Thompson Funeral Homes, 845 Leesburg Road, Columbia, South Carolina.


In lieu of flowers, a gift in Mary’s memory may be made to  St. Martin's-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church or


Family and friends may sign the online guest book at