John Irvin Butler joined his beloved wife and Husky Sunday, October 30, 2022.
God worked hard on this very different person, who was born January 22, 1946, in Opelika, Alabama, a son of the late Harry Douglas Butler and Mary Ella Cook.
He had a big heart that was well hidden behind a quick and sarcastic whit, and big mouth that got him into a lot of trouble.
During his school years, the family moved to Florida where he was the star quarterback at Norland High School. His big mouth got him in trouble in more ways than one there when he bit a teammate just because… He was a bit crazy, and a bit feared, but he always protected those who could not protect themselves.
After high school, John joined the Army where he was drafted into special forces due to his psych evaluation that showed he was perfect for the position. He served his country in Vietnam for many years, where he lost his best friend, known only to us as “Spook,” who gave his life to save my dad. Daddy always said he lived on borrowed time after that.
After he left the military, and almost as a joke, my dad convinced my late mother, Nathalie Elizabeth Riley, to marry him. After graduating with honors from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Clinical Psychology and having two daughters, Meredith Ann (Farrari) and Shannon Riley (Wallace), they decided that being good friends was not enough to sustain a marriage. My mother told my father he should be with one of her best friends and shortly after the divorce, he married the love of his life, the late Jaqualine Kay Plyer, which is when we gained another sister, Michele Christine (Smith), whom we had known our whole lives.
Poor Daddy – all daughters and even his dogs were all girls.
John worked managing country clubs and restaurants most of his life. Ending as the General Manager of Mountain Lodge at Snowshoe, where his late wife, Jackie, worked with him as accountant and administrator. They spent every day working together and every night living together. It was very rare to ever see one without the other until her passing in 2009. Daddy never really recovered from her loss.
There was one bright spot in 2018 when we found out we had a brother, Robert Fuchs, who had been put up for adoption without Daddy even being told. He was very distraught about not being given the opportunity to raise his son. The trip to New York taking Daddy to meet Robert for the first time is one I will never forget.
In addition to his two biological daughters, one son, a step-daughter and an unofficial adopted daughter, John is survived by 12 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; an older brother, Eason Butler; a younger brother, David Butler; and a sister, Mary Cripe; as well as five dogs that he loved above all others.
Even though he was not the easiest person to get along with, he had his moments and will be dearly missed.
A graveside service with Military Rites was held Wednesday, November 2, at Mountain View Cemetery with Pastor Tim Scott officiating.