Josephine deButts, centenarian

Josephine Dame deButts, a homemaker and gardener, died of respiratory failure May 27 at her Roland Park home. She was 101.

The daughter of an Episcopal clergyman, the Rev. William Page Dame, and his wife, Josephine Putney, she was born in the rectory of Memorial Episcopal Church in Bolton Hill, where her funeral will be held. Her paternal grandfather had also been rector of the congregation.

She spent her childhood in Bolton Hill and was a 1930 graduate of St. Catherine's School in Richmond, Va., where she was school president.

She met her future husband, Daniel Dulany deButts, who worked in the railway supply business, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, Va. They married in 1935 at Memorial Church. She and her husband resided in Bolton Hill until they moved to Roland Park nearly 60 years ago.

"She was tall and elegant with a strong patrician Virginia accent, which she never lost," said a friend, Dr. John W. Payne of Baltimore. "She had strong opinions on everything and everybody. ... Men were clearly her favorites, and there was always a sense of flirtation in her manners."

He said that when he greeted her not long ago and remarked that she looked beautiful, she responded, "All the world loves a cheerful liar."

Mrs. deButts enjoyed bridge, gardening and travel to England, where she visited a family in West Sussex. She was president of the Town Garden Club of Bolton Hill and was a longtime member of the Colonial Dames of America and the Mount Vernon Club.

"Bolton Hill was a Little Virginia in her childhood," said the neighborhood's historian, Frank Shivers. "Her grandfather was called the bishop of Bolton Street and she was familiar with him and was personally very loyal to the Confederacy."

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. June 15 at Memorial Church, Bolton Street and Lafayette Avenue.

Survivors include three daughters, Josephine "Jody" Dame deButts of Baltimore, Ann Ashby Thompson of Rodgers Forge and Susan Meade Arnot of Riderwood; two grandsons; and three great-grandchildren. Her husband of 33 years died in 1968.

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