Jean Ellis Butler

Eastern High 1931

Jamestown and Oakridge in Arlington County, died peacefully at her home Thursday
evening, September 8, 2011.

Born in 1914 in Washington, DC, she was 97 years old.

Among the highlights of a life well lived were a career in the 1950's as a Foreign
Service wife in Central and South America, followed by her career with Arlington
County Public Schools. In the late 1960's and early 70's, she presented workshops on
learning stations and multisized groupings of children. When she taught at Jamestown,
a core group of 23 children moved with her from grades two through six. Their
achievements are legion, and many within this unique cluster have kept close

Jean retired from APS in 1978, traveling extensively for the next 20 years, reaching
every continent including Antarctica, in 1995. Later that year she sailed across the
North Pole aboard the Russian nuclear icebreaker Yamal.

Sadly, she also suffered from increasingly severe COPD — the gift of secondhand
smoke — which finally took its toll. As well as hospice care at home in the last weeks,
for the last 10+ years she had been in the care of her son, Paul.

A memorial service for Jean was held at St. Ann Catholic Church in Arlington, in early
November, 2011. Her ashes are interred at a small cemetery not far from her home of
the last forty years in Falls Church.