Stella B. Butler of Charleston, SC passed away peacefully at the age of 98 on Thursday, April 20, 2023 in Orlando, FL. Stella was born on August 18, 1924, to parents John D. and Flossie L. Barnette in Russellville, South Carolina. She was known by many names; Mom, Ms. Stella, Stella B, Baby B, Granny and Granny B.
Stella was the proud mother of 4 children, grandmother to 8, great-grandmother to 16 and great-great-grandmother to 6. Stella also had a very large extended family that included so many more who she loved like family. She was loved and adored by all her people, to them she was simply Granny B.
Stella grew up in the small town of Russellville, South Carolina. She married her first husband Charlie Metts at a young age. Charlie was in the Army, and Stella traveled with him and lived in North Carolina in the early years of their marriage. Charlie and Stella had two children, Charles Albert Metts (known as Bubba) and Joyce Florene Metts (Campbell). She and the children later returned to South Carolina and settled in Charleston. Years later she married Frank Belk, who was a truck driver. Frank and Stella had two children together, Pamela Gayle Belk (Clancy) and Frank Keith Belk. After Frank passed away Stella met and later married IV Butler and enjoyed life with him until his death in 2004.
Stella worked for over 30 years at Charleston Manufacturing. She started her career as a presser and retired as the supervisor of the finishing department. IV supported and encouraged his “Baby B” to retire so that she could spend her time enjoying family and traveling more. Stella was a selfless woman who loved cooking and taking care of everyone she cared about. She was the BEST cook. No one cooked a meal like Granny B. Her biscuits, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, pound cake and candied yams were legendary. Many holidays were spent at her home with family, and she always made sure that no one left hungry. The buffet lines and tables stretching throughout the house, porch, and garage will always be remembered.
IV and Stella had a getaway in Myrtle Beach, SC where so many of the grandchildren spent their summers. Making unforgettable childhood memories along with homemade peach ice cream on the porch, all the grands and most of the great-grands experienced Myrtle Beach, driving the golf cart and hanging out on the beach. Ironically, Stella did not love the beach – all that wind was not good for her hair. Stella loved to travel to the mountains of North Carolina. In her later years, she went on many adventures with her best friend Annie Grimes. Stella even traveled to Alaska on a cruise with her daughter Pam and son-in-law Mike Clancy.
Stella loved well. It didn’t matter how long it had been since you had seen her or talked to her, she made sure you knew she loved you. As she got older, she helped her grandchildren to master her core recipes. Stella lived on her own for 14 years until she was 94, when she moved to Orlando, FL and lived with Pam and Mike. Stella lived a long, full life. She had a great memory and even at the age of 98 could recall stories from her childhood and loved to share stories of her life. She enjoyed visits from her loved ones. She was a special woman and was the heart of her family.
Stella is survived by her daughter, Pam Clancy; grandchildren, Randall Lewis (Stephanie), Charles A. Metts II (Delia), Dawn Michelle Rutherford (Vance), Shannon Hugill, Kerri Belk, and Michael Campbell (Jessica); 16 great-grandchildren; 6 great-great-grandchildren and many loving cousins, nieces, and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband, IV Butler; sons, Charles A. “Bubba” Metts and Keith Belk; daughter, Joyce Campbell; granddaughter, Stella “Lynn” Lewis, grandson, Kevin Belk; and all five of her siblings, Samuel “Sam” Barnette, Sarah Brinkley, Richard Barnette, Anabelle Stukes and Joseph “Norman” Barnette.
A Graveside Service will be held at Carolina Memorial Gardens, 7113 Rivers Ave North Charleston, SC 29406 on Saturday, May 27th at 11am. The family will host a reception at the funeral home afterwards.