Wednesday, March 26, 2008

One of a Kind

Today was the funeral services of Colonel Eugene Butler.  He really had his whole funeral planned up to the minute.  He had all the hymns and which verses would be sung.  He had the speakers and how long each speaker would take.  All of his children participated as well as 3 friends (Brett was among them).  Brett has had many sleepless nights wondering what he was going to say.  He did a wonderful job.  I was proud of him and the spirit he brought to the meeting.  
I am blessed to have known Eugene.  He was a lot like my Grandpa Ralph (for those of you who knew him), he went out of his way to serve others.  I'm sad that he is gone and have cried all day but it is for selfish reasons.  I want to continue to watch his example.  He made me want to be better.  Now I'll have to be just that...better and not just an observer.
"We salute you. We love you. We'll miss you."

Eugene Haynes Butler
Eugene Haynes Butler 1923 ~ 2008 Eugene Haynes Butler, Colonel USAF (Ret), Age 84, died Friday, 21st March 2008. He was born in Clovis, New Mexico on 28th of October 1923, the youngest child of Leslie Harland and Maimee Burrus Haynes Butler. He had three older brothers and one sister. He grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Then as a young man moved to Phoenix, Arizona. On 25 September 1942, he was sworn into the U.S. Army Air Forces in the hopes of becoming a Fighter Pilot. After successfully completing Pre-Flight, Primary, Basic and Advanced Flying Schools, he graduated as a pilot and was commissioned as Second Lt. on 12 March 1944 at Eagle Pass Army Field, Texas, achieving his goal of becoming a Fighter Pilot. On 1 August 1950, he married Clara Jane Fish in Phoenix, Arizona. His carrier in the military took them to many varied and interesting assignments. In 1967-1968, he flew 248 combat missions in Vietnam in the F-100 aircraft. For most of his long carrier, he trained fighter pilots, which was both challenging and highly interesting. He was proud to wear command pilot wings, and also the wings of the Chinese Air Force, as he trained all the pilots in the Chinese Fourth Fighter Group at Chai-Yi, Formosa in 1954 when this Group converted from piston powered to Jet Aircraft, the Republic F-84 Thunderjet. His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, The Air Medal with 13 clusters plus other medals. He was very proud that in all the thousands of hours flown in many different aircraft, he was never forced to bail out of any of them. His final assignment in the Air Force was to the base commander at Laughlin Air Force Base, Del Rio, Texas. He retired on the 1 August 1970 with 28 years service. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he held several positions during his long years in the kingdom. However, his very favorite of them all was serving in several Wards as the Priest Quorum Advisor. A position he dearly loved and appreciated. He is survived by six children and their families, Harold A. Fish, Jr. (Debbie); Leslie Jane Williamson (Joseph); Carl Scott Butler (Laurie); Theresa Anne Johnson (John); Dana David Butler (Judy); and James Alan Butler (Nancy); also 33 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. His wife, Jane and his son, Haynes both died in 1990, within five months of each other. His funeral will be held at the Edgemont Fifth Ward, 2950 North Canyon Road, Provo Utah, with Bishop Chris Crowe officiating on Wednesday 26 March at 12:00 p.m. A viewing will be held in the same building the previous evening from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Burial will be in the Logan, Utah Cemetery on the same day at 4:30 p.m. Our sincere gratitude to all the wonderful folks who were of so much comfort and assistance to Eugene down through the years he lived here in mortality. We surely appreciate each one of you for your many acts of kindness and goodness to our father. 


Logan and Ashley said...

That was so great to read. He sounds like an amazing person. You are so lucky to have met some one like that. I love to talk to people who have lived a full and eventful life. I am so sorry for your loss, you are in our thoughts.

Jenna said...

What a neat man! I am so sorry for your loss! Thanks for the phone call last night! It helped to pass one of the 17 hours Kyler worked yesterday!

Debbie said...

What a special friendship you had with Eugene! I wish I could have heard Brett speak. I like that you shared this with us.