LAW, Marie


ACT, Mary Craft

Mary Craft Law, former Butler County Treasurer and one of our best angels, slipped peacefully into Heaven on Monday morning November 1, 2021. Ms. Law was 90 years old. How fitting that Mary left this Earth on a beautiful and fresh All Saints’ Day, to be reunited with her beloved 70-year-old husband, Richard, who passed just eight months ago. This exceptionally warm, unpretentious woman has grown from a humble start to one of the most significant political forces in Butler County history. Mary Law’s political stature was so prominent in Butler County that even the former Speaker of the House and dear friend, John Boehner said, feared he would run against no one, unless it was Mary Law. Mary Craft Law was born in Manchester, Kentucky on June 27, 1931, to Clyde and Pearl (Brown) Craft. Moving to Hamilton in early 1934, she grew up with her two younger sisters Marti and Shirley in a strictly disciplined home, tempered by the most generous and kind mother Mary ever adored. Along with her sisters, Mary learned the value of hard work, at home and at school, while maintaining an optimistic outlook on how she could put herself and her life in a better position. For Mary, the formula was rather simple, honesty, attention to others and devout faith in God. An active member of the West Side Baptist Church, Mary’s sister, Shirley, remembers seeing her every evening sitting in bed, reading her Bible. In Hamilton High School, Mary was a diligent and thoughtful student. Active in school and in many clubs, she was elected by her class of 1950 as the reunion queen. After graduating, Mary began her career with the love of her life, Richard Law, becoming his wife in November 1950. Dedicated to each other, they remained together until her death for over 70 years. years later. Over the course of her career, Mary Law became the quintessential working mother a full generation before the term became a staple across America. Balancing the house, her husband and two sons, was a hallmark of Mary, she wanted to use her exceptional talents and skills in personnel management, finance and organization in her professional life, a dedicated wife for the nascent political career of her husband while raising sons, who will tell you unequivocally, there has never been a better mom on this Earth. After graduating from Hamilton High School, Mary was hired by Prudential Insurance in Hamilton to work in their local office. After spending 26 years with Prudential, Mary rose through the ranks to office administrator. Long before her days as Butler County Treasurer, Mary Law distinguished herself with Prudential. On two separate occasions with the birth of her two sons, Mary took three years of leave in order to spend time with her boys, what is remarkable is that after each leave she returned to Prudential to resume her work. office administrator position. . For the Prudential Insurance Company, this was a national first, as they had never fired a woman to a position she had previously held, after maternity leave. In fact, Mary Law sparked renewed interest from the insurance giant to rethink how they approached women seeking maternity leave and the flexibility to re-enter them into the workforce. Only four years into full retirement from Prudential, Mary Law embarked, albeit reluctantly, on another career, engaging in politics to become the second Butler County Treasurer in history. County. By 1980, the local Democratic Party had retained the treasurer’s office for half a century, moreover this passage had been occupied by members of the same family. Guided by one of Mary’s dearest friends, the brilliant young Rick Segal assisted by her husband, Richard who had been the former vice mayor of Hamilton, Mary Law led a resurgence of the Butler County GOP, winning 59% of the votes in his first election. Treasurer must wait 10 months after election to take office so Mary repeatedly asks outgoing county treasurer for office access to better use downtime until she takes office . Yet she was routinely denied access, so like Mary Law, she toured the state, meeting with other county treasurers to better understand the mechanics of the office. In particular, Mary met the few female treasurers in Ohio County at the time, Peggy Peelle of Clinton County and Mary Ellen Withrow of Marion County. Additionally, she met Buck Rinehart, Franklin County Treasurer, who provided Mary with many innovations in county tax collection, which she would later initiate in her office. Four years after winning the post, Mary Law set a new political record, winning 76.5 percent of the vote with a margin of 51,659, the highest percentage and largest voting margin ever won by a contested candidate in the history of Butler County; she would never be contested for the office again. In 1988, she received over 100,000 commendable votes, a remarkable political statement from a woman who hated the political arena. Mary Law administered her office as she did at Prudential, with integrity, honesty, innovation and precision. She created regional tax collection centers to improve customer service and accessibility for taxpayers, she set up tax collections at local banks, understanding how collections would increase and banks would see volumes of higher customers. With her dedicated staff, Mary Law has created cross-training opportunities for greater efficiency and better work options. Staff turnover in Mary Law’s office was almost non-existent; today, a generation distant from her departure, half of the current staff have been hired by her. In her career as in her life, Mary C. Law has lived by truth, guided by example. She understood the power of God’s grace, how she functioned in her life and her interactions with countless others, providing everyone who met her with transparency into her deep and enduring faith. By showing others who she was, Mary Law was able to allow God’s message to resonate with others. At West Side Baptist Church Mary taught Sunday School for 19 years, later at First Baptist Church she served as a deaconess. After serving four distinguished terms, Mary left politics in 2001 and settled down to enjoy her retirement with her husband, sons and grandchildren. Every fall, when she walked to her beloved Myrtle Beach condominium or to the Smokey Mountains with her sisters, Mary looked after her family, friends and a much-needed rest. While the following years saw a reduced schedule of his activities, the smile in his eyes never wavered. Are there too many awards, certifications, recognitions, committees and councils to mention and would contradict Mary’s wishes? She never relished the spotlight, but knew her life had a purpose. Those who met her will never forget her. His family and friends will forever remember the authentic nature of his character, his sweet smile, his warm laugh. Mary’s true nature was no more evident than in 1993 when a man from Middletown wrote about how she handled her tax payment. In writing a check for less than the required payment, the man noted that the check had not been returned and was not placed in a tax delinquent situation, but that Mary Law had instead taken it upon herself to pay. unlike its own pocket. To her, it was just common sense, why waste taxpayers’ money returning the check? Why make a taxpayer feel bad about an underpayment? Above all, Mary Law knew it was the right thing to do. It embodied the selfless and unselfish Mary Craft Law. Efficient, not useless. Humble, never boastful. Mary Law was a woman consumed with kindness in her heart to others, brimming with common sense and to her family and the county she served with unwavering dedication. The Golden Rule was the basis of her life, Mary Law truly believed and lived that you treated others the way you wanted to be treated. Everyone who met her never felt looked down upon, but appreciated. Mary Law made us feel better about ourselves and in the end we are better to have met her. Mom will forever be the jewel of our family and a pillar of character that Butler County should never forget. Mary Law is survived by two sons, Rick (Bev) Law of Hamilton, Ohio and Greg Law of Beavercreek, Ohio. Six grandchildren; Megan (Kris) Williamson from Dillsboro, Indiana, Ryan (Kim) Law from Lawrenceburg, Indiana, Madison

(Cameron) Mackintosh of Denver, Colorado, Tyler Law of Austin, Texas, McKinley Law of Columbus, Ohio and Harrison Law of Athens, Ohio. Mary has six great-grandchildren, Jesse, Hollie, Aleysia, Kendra, Kaden and Alex. A dear younger sister, Shirley (Bill) Prather of Evansville, Indiana, Aunt Mary is survived by a niece, Marta Kay (Steve) Fitzpatrick and nephews Jeff (Jill) Phelps and Sean Adams. Preceding Mary in death were her parents Clyde and Pearl Brown Craft, her 70-year-old husband Richard, a cherished sister, Marti Craft Phelps, two beloved step-brothers Doug Adams and Phil Phelps, a niece Lisa Beth Adams and nephew Scott Adams. The funeral will be on Friday, November 12 at 11:00 a.m. at the Weigel Funeral Home, 980 NW Washington Blvd., Hamilton, OH 45013 with Pastor Dennis Metzger as officiant. Friends can visit family from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 11 at the funeral home. The entombment will take place at Rose Hill Burial Park after the service. Friends are encouraged to join family at Mary’s after the entombment. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations from the Hamilton Community Foundation, 319 North 3rd St., Hamilton, OH 45011 for the Richard C. and Mary C. Law Scholarship Fund. Online condolences are available at


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