BUTLER JR, Richard (Dick) Edward
BUTLER Richard “Dick” Edward Butler Jr, age 83, of Marietta, Georgia, passed away on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. He was born to the late Richard Butler Sr, and the late Helen Hammerstedt Butler on May 30, 1939 in Vineland, New Jersey.
Dick was the youngest child and the only son with four older sisters who adored him, but, as he often said, ‟taught me how to fight with humor and with my fists and encouraged me to practice both of those skills on them and their boyfriends. If I couldn’t win, I could always make them laugh.”
He used both his humor and those fighting skills when he joined the military in September 1956 and for the next 21 years while he served as a helicopter pilot and medic which included 3 tours of duty in Vietnam. He retired in December 1977 as a Chief Warrant Officer (CW3) at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Dick always considered his brothers-in-arms as part of his family, and they remained lifelong friends through regular visits and reunions.
It was also in the military that Dick discovered a love of performing on stage. He auditioned for and was regularly cast in plays where his height and good looks made him a leading man and his comic timing made him a local star. After he retired from the military, he continued to be a popular actor in local community plays in South Carolina and Atlanta, GA until he was well into his 60s.
In the early 1980s, Dick started a small transport company. He moved the company to Marietta and renamed it Associates Express where it grew to become an important transportation service for the world’s largest home improvement store, Home Depot.
In an event that sounds like a scene from a movie, Dick met his wife Jean in 1984. They fell in love at first sight and happily danced together for the next 39 years during which time they created an active life that was filled with friends, family, work, celebrations, their church, a deep love for their cats but primarily a passionate love for each other. Jean was Bacall to his Bogie and Hepburn to his Tracy. Their obvious love for each other and their playful banter made them the best hosts with the best parties.
Their beautiful home reflects their many talents and interests. Dick was an artist who painted a much-loved mural on the longest wall in their house, and both he and Jean were gourmet cooks and master gardeners. They were also charter members of The Tomato Festival that celebrated the first tomato of the season with parades, costumes, and talent shows.
Dick was a people person to his core. If you met him, you loved him. He was a Big Brother, a long term volunteer for the Georgia Olympics, and a longtime member of Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church where he was active in the contemporary service under Pastor Carey Akin. Dick was the welcoming face who made you glad you had come to church every Sunday morning.
Dick Butler was a positive and loving presence on this earth and his memory will be cherished by his wife of 36 years Jean Staton Butler; sons, Craig Butler, Craig’s wife Ashley and their daughter Emma, and Nathan Butler and wife Fiona and their daughter, Tallulah; many nieces and nephews, extended family members, and friends.