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Mrs Violet Butler

11 August 1914 - 11 September 2017

Mrs Violet Butler died peacefully on 11 September 2017, aged 103. Affectionately known as Vi, she had been a much-loved, lively and popular resident of The Royal Star & Garter Homes since 2011. She had recently celebrated her 103rd birthday at the Surbiton Home.

Vi grew up in Putney and later moved to Chiswick to live with her husband William Charles Butler, known to her as ‘Big Ben’, on account of his height.

The couple met at a local dance and were married in 1938. They had two children, Colin and Bruce. Ben was called up in 1940 and sent to France. He was granted compassionate leave to return home to attend Colin’s birth. Vi recalls that he was shocked to witness the hard times people back at home were having, with rationing and queuing, but he didn’t talk about his time in France. Ben later returned to France where he was involved in the D-Day landings of 1944. Ben’s body was discovered on 19 June 1944, two weeks after the D-Day landings and was buried at Tilly-sur-Seulles. Vi has been able to visit her husband’s grave on several occasions.

After Ben died, Vi had only five shillings to her name. The Army gave her a payment to tide her over and she worked hard, maintaining many jobs to support her sons, including working for Marks & Spencer in Chiswick. Vi recalled her time working for the company with great affection.

Vi came to live at the Richmond Home in 2011, moving to Surbiton in 2013, where she loved her daily physiotherapy sessions. Her lively mind led her to be involved in many of the Home’s activities and visits, including a trip to London’s Shard.

Vi commented that the care at the Home was “Wonderful,” and added, “I don’t know what I would have done without the Star & Garter.”

Activities & Volunteers Manager, Raquel, said: “Vi was wonderful and was loved by everyone. She was so interested in everything and immensely charming to chat to. You could feel her wealth of experience and her warmth when you talked with her.”

Vi was very supportive of the work the Charity does, was happy to be photographed and allowed her fascinating life story to be told helping raise much needed funds for the Charity. Vi  will be much missed by her many friends at The Royal Star & Garter Homes. Our deepest sympathies are with her family.