James (Jimmy) Lester Butler, Jr.  1930 – 2013

Apr 15, 2013
James (Jimmy) Lester Butler, Jr.

James (Jimmy) Lester Butler, Jr., age 82, passed away after a long illness on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 in Lynden, Washington.

Jim was born on August 2, 1930 in Jacksonville, FL to Lester and Ruby Butler who preceded him in death.

Many other beloved family members preceded Jim in death including several dearly loved aunts, uncles, cousins, his daughter-in-law, Teresa Bennett and grandson, Scott Bennett.

Jim played baseball, basketball and football in his early teen years and continued to be an avid fan throughout his life. (Go Huskies and Gators!)

He attended Duncan Fletcher High School in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and graduated from the US Army High School in Munich, Germany in 1948.

After graduation, he and three other graduates drove a Jeep from Munich to Paris to celebrate.

Jim returned to the United States in 1948 and attended the University of Florida, majoring in accounting and statistics, graduating in 1952.

He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.  Following in his father's footsteps, Jim enlisted in the US Army in 1955 and attended an IBM training school in Indianapolis after which he was sent to Heidelberg, Germany as a computer specialist.

He left the army in 1958 and came home to Jacksonville.  A short time later moved to Washington State, loved it here in the Northwest, and never left.

Jim was an active member of the Boys Scouts of America, the Ancient and Scottish Rite of the Masons, and a longstanding member of Lions Club and Rotary.

He was also a devote member of the St Paul's Episcopal Church.  Jim and Mary were confirmed in the Episcopal Church in 1980.

Jim met and married Mary Jane, August 2, 1980, while they were both working at the Marysville School District.

Jim retired in 1986 as the Business Administrator for the district after 20 years of service.

Mary continued working as a school nurse for the district after Jim's retirement until 1989.  That was the year that a new journey began for Jim and his wife, Mary.  They traveled the country, coast to coast, RV'ing, golfing, skiing and enjoying an abundant life.

In 1997, they built and purchased a home in Lynden, Washington, on the 18th green of the Homestead Golf and Country Club.

Jim's love of golfing also found the couple purchasing a home in Yuma, Arizona on the Cocopah Golf and RV Resort.  Life was good until Jim became ill and life became challenging and traveling impossible.

Throughout his life Jim was always the business manager, loved technology and his computer and watching and cheering his favorite sports teams.

Jim was survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Mary Jane Butler of Lynden, Washington; sister, Jacqueline Jones-- Butler – Fairbanks, AK; son, James Lee Butler - Falls Church, VA; daughter, Johanna Butler - Plano, TX; step-sons, Brian Bennett and wife Vicki Bennett - Everett, WA; Douglas Bennett, Anchor Point, AK; step-daughter, Patricia and husband Jeff Johnson - Spokane, WA; grandchildren - Jeffrey Lynn Butler, Baton Rouge, LA; Emily Christine Butler - Falls Church, VA; Jason and Catherine Willey, Everett, WA; Lauren and Chris Englehardt, Colton, WA; Karl Johnson – Spokane, WA; Michelle and Mike Auvil, Wenatchee, WA; Todd and Vickie Bennett, Cashmere, WA; Stacey Hingston – Mt. Vernon, WA; Stephanie and Aaron Robbins, Sedro Woolley, WA; Brian and Brandi Maher, Entiat, WA; John and Robin Maher; New Calodona, MI; Julie and Bill Hoffmiester – Portland, OR; and several great grandchildren from Plano, Texas to Alaska; several nieces and nephews, especially Michael Reilly, Ferndale, WA.

A Celebration of Jim's life will be held April 19 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2117 Walnut St., Bellingham, Washington.

Immediately following the service, the family invites you to join them for a reception.  Private graveside services will be held at a future date.  Jim will be interred at Arlington, Washington.

The family would like to express their thanks and gratitude to the caring staffs of the Christian Health Care Center, Whatcom Hospice and Meadow Greens Retirement.

Jim's request is that donations in his memory be made to the St. Paul's Episcopal Church Endowment Fund, 2117 Walnut St., Bellingham, WA  98225.

You are invited to share your condolences and memories in the online guest book at www.gilliesfuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Lynden.

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