Lyda Butler Langston

Published 8:20 am Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Lyda Lynell Butler Langston, age 95, of Silver Creek, joined our Lord in Heaven on Aug. 20, 2021.

She was born in Monticello on May 22, 1926. Lyda graduated from Monticello High School in 1943. She married Gerald Slater Langston on Dec. 24, 1943 and they were married for 72 years.

Lyda was the last surviving grandchild of Dr. Thomas Hansford Butler, victim of the infamous Birdsong murder case occurring Nov. 25, 1905, in Monticello. She was also a relative of A.H. Longino, Governor of Mississippi from 1901 to 1904. As an ex-governor, he represented the state in 1905 through 1907 in the ongoing murder trial against Mrs. Angie Birdsong (wife of Dr. Jas. S. Birdsong) who was found guilty of the murder of Dr. Butler, Lyda’s paternal grandfather.

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Lyda grew up in Monticello, with her father, Edward Buford “Buck” Butler, and her mother, Myrtis L. Butler, along with brothers Tom and Jack and beloved sister Tootsie. Lyda loved all animals, especially dogs and cats. At age 12, she was sent to help her Uncle Emmitt raise his infant daughter, Sarah Emma, whose mother had fallen ill. Lyda was an athlete and crack-shot with a rifle.  She played girls basketball on her high school team that vied in the State championship. She graduated high school in 1943.

As a WWII bride, Lyda lived with Gerald’s family while he was away most of the time serving in the Navy, sharing a room with sister-in-law, Ina Louise. Son Jerry came along in 1945. Lyda and Gerald then lived in military housing at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida and then rented a cabin from the Hoak family in Fairhope, Alabama until 1946. Lyda and Gerald returned to Monticello, and started an appliance sales and service business, right around the corner from sister Tootsie’s Hair Salon. Lyda worked at the Monticello garment factory and daughter Lynell came along in 1949.
In 1953, the couple, with their children Jerry and Lynell, relocated to Mossville, Illinois, just north of Peoria. Gerald became service manager for Sears Roebuck and Company while Lyda cared for the children and home. In 1958, along came child number three, Robert, and various dogs and cats. Lyda made many wonderful friends that lasted throughout her life.

In early 1961, the family returned to Mississippi, which they all missed and loved, except for Robert who didn’t know any better. They resided in Long Beach, and enjoyed the gulf coast lifestyle and made lots of lasting friends. In Long Beach, Lyda worked retail and later did the bookkeeping, taxes, etc., for Langston’s Appliance Repair. In 1981, son Robert was killed in a car accident from which Lyda never truly recovered.

In 1989, Lyda and Gerald returned to the Langston family home in Silver Creek, built in 1909, where Gerald grew up and son Jerry was born. Together, Lyda and Gerald restored the old house and grounds into their own little slice of paradise along with a well-kept garden and too many cats.
After Gerald passed in 2016, Lyda lived alone for a while, then moved to Texas to be with her much-loved granddaughter and caregiver, Monique Hindman, and Monique’s husband, Flint Hindman. Lyda’s daughter, Lynell, who always held a special place in her heart, lived nearby with her husband Bob Melancon. With Monique, Flint, Lynell and Bob’s support, Lyda enjoyed four of the best years in her life, doted on and treated like a queen. After eight months of struggle to continue after enduring cancer treatments, she passed away in Monique’s arms. Lyda was much loved by all who knew her and will be sorely missed.

Lyda was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald Slater Langston, son Robert Buford Langston, brother Thomas Butler, brother Jack Butler, sister Elsie “Tootsie” Barron and her parents, Edward Buford Butler and Myrtis L. Hendry Butler.

She was survived by her son Gerald Slater Langston Jr., her daughter Sarah Lynell Langston Melancon and Lynell’s husband, Robert M Melancon; grandchildren Monique Lynell Melancon Hindman and her husband Flint Robert Hindman, Robert “Michael” Melancon, Jr. and his wife Krysten “Melissa” Melancon and Robert “Travis” Langston; great-grandchildren Camille Lynell Melancon and Luc Michael Melancon and many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

A memorial service was held on Friday, Aug. 27, at Calvary Baptist Church in Silver Creek and she was buried at Calvary Baptist Church cemetery. Special thanks to Pastor Donald McClellan for his extra-ordinary help to the family with organizing and officiating the memorial service, to Pastor Trey Spangler for delivering the eulogy and to Kevin Hughes of Saulters-Moore Funeral Home for his professionalism and kindness while handling all of the details.