‘Mamaw’ who never turned her back on those in need was ‘all about her family’

Mary Arlene Little, of Liberty Twp., died Tuesday. She was 77. CONTRIBUTED

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Mary Arlene Little, of Liberty Twp., died Tuesday. She was 77. CONTRIBUTED

A Butler County woman known for opening up her house to everyone and feeding them biscuits and gravy has died.

Mary Arlene Little, of Liberty Twp., died Tuesday. She was 77.

“She was just the most selfless person I knew and she never let anyone go without anything,” said Cherri “Nikki” Weisenberger, 31, one of Little’s 10 grandchildren. “If there was space in her house and there was a place to go, you were going there. She was a good woman. She was all about her family.”

Weisenberger, her two sisters and brother lived with their grandmother whom they called “Mamaw.”

The Littles even converted their garage into an apartment, complete with a kitchen and bathroom. Weisenberger said she lost count of how many people stayed there over the years.

“It was like a revolving door,” she said. “It was treated like a hotel.”

Calli Fugate, Weisenberger’s best friend, said Little insisted on being called Mamaw after they met.

“Mamaw was ‘Everyone’s Mamaw,’” Fugate said. “She was always there, right when you needed her.”

Fugate said Little never let anyone leave her house without looking their best. On one of her final days, Little told her family that someone needed to iron her outfit.

“I’m not going out without looking presentable,” Little said.

Weisenberger said her grandmother taught her to always take pride in her appearance.

“There is no shame in being poor,” her grandmother told her. “There is shame in being dirty.”

Little is survived by her husband of 53 years, Ronald Little and four children: Sheila Johnson, Ronald (Anita) Little Jr., Amy Weisenberger, and Rachel Little; 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

Visitation is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at Webster Funeral Home, 3080 Homeward Way at Ohio 4, Fairfield followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m. with Pastor Valerie McCann officiating. Burial to follow at Greenwood Cemetery.

Fugate said the family is feeling the “weight of the financial burden” of the funeral expenses on top of the “crushing heaviness of losing their matriarch.”

A GoFundMe account has been established to pay for the funeral.

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