- SYMPATHY NOTE
Delores Lorraine Epperson Butler
Delores Lorraine Epperson Butler, age 82, of Erie, passed away Wednesday, May 8, 2019. She was born in Marfrance, WV on July 1, 1936, daughter of the late Gilbert Wilson Epperson and Mary Agnes Janoski Epperson. She moved to the Erie area in her teens with her family and graduated from the former Academy High School.
Early in her lifetime, Delores pursued a career in Erie as a seamstress, designing and sewing bridal gowns at the former London's Bridal. She also worked at the Boston Store as a seamstress.
When her focus turned to raising her two children, Delores began a part-time career as a waitress. Buoyed by her engaging personality and love for people and conversation, that part-time position eventually culminated in a nearly 40-year career serving customers at Ricardo's Restaurant in Erie. When interviewed in 2013 for an article by the Erie Times News, Delores said that her co-workers and customers had become like a second family to her.
Her passion for sewing and creativity, however, never waned, but she reserved her exceptional talents for family and friends. She would stitch altercations, bridal creations or any special request that came her way.
In 2013, at the age of 77, Delores chose to retire from Ricardo's Restaurant to face the biggest challenge of her life, metastatic renal cell cancer. Told twice by the medical community in both Erie and Pittsburgh that there was nothing to be done to battle her disease, Delores bravely chose to participate in a ground-breaking clinical trial at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Having already defeated breast cancer nearly 20 years earlier, Delores entered her first trial with determination and optimism.
Her participation in the study helped open doors to new life-extending treatments for others fighting kidney cancer. Delores' courage to participate in three different paths of treatment late in life provided her with nearly six more wonderful years with her family.
A generous family friend provided assistance for the more than a dozen trips to MD Anderson required for her treatments. Delores' gratitude for the gift was evident daily, as she lived her life to the fullest possible during the final chapter of her life with us.
Delores is survived by one son, James L. Butler, Jr. of Erie; one daughter, Marylee M. Butler of Erie; one sister, Bonnie Norman of Erie; three brothers, Thomas Epperson of Wattsburg, Robert Epperson (Miriam) of Hemphill, TX, and Gilbert Epperson of Lawrence Park; one brother-in-law, Robert Baxter of League City, TX; two grandsons, Daniel J. Butler and Jacob L. Butler both of Erie; two great-granddaughters, whom Delores cherished, Baelyn and Brynleigh Randolph of Erie; and several nieces, nephews and cousins, especially Andrew Stephen Mankowski, whom she was very fond of. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister, Sandra Baxter; one niece, Carrie Lynn Epperson; and one nephew, Thomas Epperson.
At Delores' request, services will be private and held at the convenience of her immediate family. Memorials in Delores' name can be made to the ANNA Shelter, 1555 East 10th Street, Erie, PA 16511. Arrangements are being handled by the Dusckas Funeral Home, Inc., 2607 Buffalo Rd.