Leslie Seagrave Buttermore, 90, formerly of Belpre, Ohio, and Parkersburg, W.Va., died on July 15, 2012.
Born on Sept. 8, 1921, in Baltimore, Md., to Gordon S. Seagrave, the famed Burma Surgeon, and Marion Morse Seagrave, she lived in Namkham, Burma, from 1922-1934. Generations of her family had served as missionaries to Burma, beginning in 1834.
Two brothers, John Seagrave (Regina) and Sterling Seagrave (Peggy) survive her.
Her parents; and two brothers, Gordon Seagrave Jr. and Weston Seagrave preceded her in death.
She attended Taunggyi School in Taunggyi, Burma, Kodaikanal School in Kodaikanal, India, and graduated from high school in Granville, Ohio. After receiving a BA from Denison University in 1942, she went on to earn an MA from Radcliffe University in 1943, a member of the first group of Radcliffe women to attend classes at Harvard University.
She married Richard Donald Buttermore Jr. of Parkersburg, W.Va., in 1943 and was a loving wife and loyal companion to him for 57 years until his death in 2000.
Four of her five children survive her, Barbara Hansen (Gary), Jenny Clark (Perry), Richard Seagrave Buttermore (Cathy, nee, Gibbons) and Donald Gordon Buttermore (Mary, nee. Paulette); Richard Donald Buttermore III, twin of Jenny, died days after birth. Three grandchildren and three step-grandchildren survive her, Barbara Leslie Clark Denton, Julia Anne Clark, Richard S. Buttermore Jr., Derick (Kelly) Hansen, Donald (Wendy) Hansen and Doreen Hansen; her grandson, Robert Scott Buttermore, preceded her in death. She has six great-grandchildren, Jocelyn, Brandon and Owen Denton and Evan, Emily and Riley Buttermore; and five great-step-grandchildren, Katie and Will Lawler and Daniel, James and Stephanie Hansen.
Once her children were all in school, she joined her husband in the family business, R.D. Buttermore & Son Jewelers, achieving the titles of Registered Jeweler and Certified Gemologist from the American Gem Society, the first woman in West Virginia to receive the CG designation.
As an eighth-grade student she took the words "today, not tomorrow" as her motto, and she lived by this creed to the benefit of all those who were part of her life. She was a woman of great strength and character, the heart of her family, creative, generous and kind, offering unconditional love to family and friends. Early in life she learned the power of surrender and acceptance in the face of loss and difficulty. Though she studied pre-med at Denison, when she chose to marry and have children, she decided not to go on to medical school but instead to study philosophy for her Master's Degree at Radcliffe University, a degree that shaped her view of the world and informed the depth of her thought.
She was a member of First Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday School for many years, the Junior League, the Parkersburg Country Club and the Parkersburg Yacht Club.
An accomplished artist and student of art history, her children's, grandchildren's and friend's homes are brightened by the beauty of her portraits and landscapes. With her skills at sewing, tailoring, knitting and quilting, she made children's sweaters, clothes and doll clothes; dresses and suits; prom dresses and ball gowns; and quilts that she pieced, appliqued, embroidered and hand-quilted. These cherished treasures will be passed down through the generations of her family.
She was a fine cook whose curries continue to be imitated by children and grandchildren and whose homemade jams, especially grape, plum and sour cherry, live on in memory. A passionate reader throughout her life, she often read a book a day. She loved gardening, and pulled weeds, sewed seeds and planted flowers into the last years of her life. An avid bird watcher, she delighted in the beauty and habits of songbirds and seabirds. Boater and beach-lover, she enjoyed her second home in Bonita Springs, Fla., and made many close friends there. Letter writer, in an age of e-mail, she stayed with her long practice of hand-writing personal notes, sending news and clippings of interest to her correspondents and letting each one know of her interest in and love for them. Golf fan extraordinaire, one can only hope that Ricky Fowler and Bubba Watson will one day live up to her hopes for them.
The family requests that donations may be sent to the Washington County Public Library Foundation, 2012 Washington Blvd., Belpre, OH 45714.
The family will hold a private memorial service at a later date.