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Honoring the Life of Miriam “Mims” Butterworth

Miriam "Mims" Butterworth—historian, educator, activist, parent—was born in Hartford, Conn. April 14, 1918. She died in Bloomfield, CT, on July 9, 2019, just a few miles from her childhood home, but traveled the world from Germany in 1938, to the 1995 World Conference on Women in China. She served as chair of the CT Public Utilities Control Authority (PUCA), on the West Hartford Town Council, and was acting president of Hartford College for Women.

In her later years she authored several books on history and social causes. Her husband of 50 years, Oliver Butterworth, died in 1990. Mims is survived by Michael and Carol Hastings Butterworth of Tolland, CT; Tim Butterworth and Kay Kloppenburg, of Chesterfield, NH; Dan Butterworth and Beverly Blood, of Pascoag, RI.; Kate Butterworth Valdez and Steve Thornton of West Hartford, CT; nine grandchildren, almost 13 great-grandchildren, and two former exchange students: Detlef Leenen of Berlin, Germany and Anna Bing Major, of Beaufort, SC, and their families. If you would like to extend your condolences to the Butterworth Family, please email womenadv@hartford.edu or send cards to The Women’s Advancement Initiative, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, GSU 327, West Hartford, CT 06117. Read more about her extraordinary life.

In addition to serving as president of Hartford College for Women (HCW) from 1979 to 1980, Butterworth has been actively involved with The Women’s Advancement Initiative. She worked with Dorothy Goodwin Scholars and student/faculty teams to expand her original research on “Beyond Manifest Destiny: U.S. Expansion in the 20th Century” to include the development of updated maps and a teacher’s guide, and helped develop a documentary about her life. Her “Just Say Yes” philosophy is one of the major tenets of The Women’s Advancement Initiative’s LEAD program, inspiring today’s female students to “just say yes” to life’s challenges and opportunities. The design of LEAD was inspired by the way students at HCW were supported and challenged.  In 2018, The Women’s Advancement Initiative enjoyed working with the Butterworth family to plan a celebration in honor of her 100th birthday. This included the planting and dedication of the “Just Say Yes” Tree in the HCW Garden in the center of the University of Hartford campus.

The Miriam and Oliver Butterworth and Family LEAD Program Endowed Fund celebrates their family’s meaningful history with Hartford College for Women and The Women’s Advancement Initiative. This generous gift will provide programmatic support to the LEAD program. Donations to the Miriam and Oliver Butterworth and Family LEAD Program Endowed Fund are welcomed and appreciated, and can be sent to The Women’s Advancement Initiative Development Officer, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117. Or, make a gift in memory of Mims Butterworth online to the Butterworth Endowed Fund.

In lieu of flowers, Mims wanted others to: Vote. Organize to get other people to vote. Work to make the United States a better democracy. Consider supporting this and other important causes. A celebration of her life will be held on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 at 5 p.m. in Wilde Auditorium on the University of Hartford campus. Invitation to follow.