Darla Jean Gallaway Butler, 79 of Navasota, passed away Wednesday, April 7th at St. Joseph Hospital, Bryan, TX. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held Wednesday, April 14th at First Baptist Church of Navasota with Rev. Clyde Larrabee officiating. Visitation with the family will begin at 10:00 am with the service following at 11:00 am. Arrangements are under the direction of Nobles Funeral Chapel.
Darla was born September 8, 1941 in Rusk, Texas to Frank David and Mary Katherine Taylor Gallaway. She lived and went to school in Livingston, Texas graduating in 1960 as salutatorian of her class. Darla attended Sam Houston State University before obtaining her degree in Dental Hygiene at UT Health Science Center in Houston. She and Dick Butler both grew up in Livingston where they were married on June 8, 1962. In 1965, after completing dental school, Dick and Darla made Navasota their home and began their own dental practice.
She touched many lives as an active member in the Navasota community. Darla was a member of the Evening Lion’s Club, a charter member of the Noon Lion’s Club, and a super Rattler Backer. With a servant’s heart, she taught Children’s Sunday School and Mission Friends, worked with the youth, and sang in the choir at First Baptist Church Navasota.
Taking care of others was a large part of Darla’s life. She always worked behind the scenes to organize, prepare, and provide. Her house was the place to be; holidays were always at her home and centered around the family that she loved so dearly. Although Darla had a quiet personality, she liked to sing, dance, and play games. She and Dick two-stepped around many dance floors together and they combined square dancing with another favorite pastime, camping. Several vacations with good friends were centered around these joys. There have been many games played at her table, especially 42 and Chicken Foot. Darla played the piano and dulcimer, which gave her additional avenues to sing the hymns that she loved. Most of all, Darla enjoyed spending time with her family and friends.
As a role model to many, Darla taught others about Jesus and how to love the Lord. “She opens her mouth with wisdom and faithful instruction”, Prov. 31:26. She was full of compassion and gentleness, always encouraging and uplifting of others. “Her children rise up and called her blessed; her husband praises her as well”, Prov. 31:28. Her legacy will live on for generations and each generation will be united with her when we are all redeemed.
She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law Dina and John Nixon; son and daughter-in-law David and Jill Butler; daughters and sons-in-law Dee and Lloyd Halaney, and Debbie and Mike Mitchell; ten grandchildren Bethany Butler, Brent Butler, Lexi Johanson, Faith Johanson, Chase Johanson, Ross and Jessica Mitchell, Cara Mitchell, Collin Mitchell, and Travis Mitchell; niece Sarah Clem and husband Chris, nephews Jeff Gallaway, and Jim Sutton and wife Sarah.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dick Butler; her parents, Frank and Katie Gallaway; and her brother David Gallaway.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial contribution in her name be made to either First Baptist Church of Navasota or Hospice Brazos Valley. You are invited to leave kind words and fond memories at