Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

December 1, 2012

Farewell to The Times’ Elizabeth Butler

-- — Come Tuesday, after 39 years, Elizabeth Butler will retire from The Valdosta Daily Times.

Through the years, as The Times Lifestyles editor, Elizabeth has brought readers stories of power and faith. She has told the stories of people who have overcome grave illnesses and great odds. She has told the stories of people who have faced horrible losses but have retained their resilience of faith.

As Elizabeth said for a story about her career, she has often felt telling these stories has been a calling. She didn’t so much find these stories as they found her.

Elizabeth Butler’s departure will leave a void in The Times pages as well as in our organization, but it is a void we hope to fill by the standards of her example.

It is rare in newspapers, or really almost any business any more, that someone stays with the same company and location for decades. Elizabeth Butler has remained committed to The Times and her calling for telling stories for 39 years.

She is a role model not only to the ideals of commitment but to the standards of excellence.

At one time she planned to be a teacher. Elizabeth even tried teaching for a short period before entering newspapers. Though she left teaching as a profession, the teacher has remained an integral part of Elizabeth.

Through advice and the example of her sterling copy, she has taught generations of reporters the proper way to dot there i’s and cross their t’s. She has shown that remaining committed to a community earns a person a well-respected place in that community.

Elizabeth Butler has served as a role model for not only generations of reporters but she has shined a light on what is good and right in our own community and within ourselves.

The Times wishes Elizabeth well in retirement and asks the community to help us share our well wishes with a public reception for Elizabeth, 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, at The Times’ 201 N. Troup St., offices.

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