Leigh Wren Butler, 38, of Hinesburg, died on August 5, 2013, in Burlington, Vt.
She is survived and terribly missed by her parents, James and Merry Butler of Aiken, S.C.; her maternal grandparents, Ivey and Marjorie Drewry of Huntsville, Ala.; many relatives, dear friends; fellow Phunky Bitches; and her cat, Mr. Pants. She was also formerly known as Lee Butler and Lee Butler Findholt.
Leigh was born on August 1, 1975, in Huntsville, Ala., moved to Oak Ridge, Tenn., in 1978, and then to Aiken, S.C., in 1986. She graduated from South Aiken High School in 1993, where she played flute and piccolo in the school band. She was known for her fabulous taste in music and enjoyed being a DJ at an alternative radio station in college. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in Columbia in 1997 with a degree in journalistic photography and journalism. After a summer internship at the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y., she moved to Burlington in 1997, due in part to her love of the band Phish.
Her résumé was as diverse as her artistic ability and included stints at Abrams Camera, customer service for the Perfect Pancake maker and, most recently, work as an insurance agent for Hickok and Boardman. She married Erik Findholt on July 17, 2004; together they started and ran Wicked Good Farm, until their divorce early in 2013. Leigh was also known for her love of animals, and they raised llamas, angora goats and chickens, among other creatures. At local farmers markets and in her online store, she would sell what she had made by hand, including soaps, hand-spun specialty yarns, jewelry and clothing. She always maintained her love of art and photography, her mediums and explorations knew no bounds and ranged from silver smithing, papier mâché, stonework, stained glass and metalwork. Her artwork was shown in several nearby galleries, including most recently at the SPACE gallery in Burlington.
A celebration of Leigh's life will be held September 15 at 1 p.m. at Button Bay State Park; friends are invited to bring memories and a vegetarian dish to share. Donations in Leigh's memory may be made to the Art House in Craftsbury.