Billy V. Butler was born Oct. 28, 1925, to circuit preacher N.D. and Evelyn M. Butler at Octavia. He died peacefully in his sleep on Friday, June 8, 2012, at his home in Panama.
Bill earned an associate’s degree from Poteau Community College. He was a 32nd Degree Mason through the Scottish Rite Temple in McAlester and a past Worshipful Master at his Cameron lodge. He was a WWII veteran.
In 1947, Bill married Wynema Ward, daughter of Ed and Ocie Ward, of Poteau. Wynema said he taught her to cook and she taught him to dance. The couple had four children.
Bill worked hard all his life. As a child growing up in Gilmore, he chopped cotton and farmed. He mined underground for coal in Oklahoma and Wyoming, uranium in Colorado and New Mexico, copper in Arizona, and steel in California. He was an electrician and explosives expert in the mines.
He worked in Air Force railyards in Arizona, drove a taxi in Kansas, farmed in Missouri and owned and operated a service station in Wister and a café in New Mexico. He managed American Legion and VFW clubs in California and Oklahoma. He drove 18-wheelers cross-country and transported veterans by van to VA medical centers.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents and siblings. He is survived by his children and their spouses: Floyd and Susie Butler, Shady Point; Kathlyn Moran, Wister; David and Jane Butler, Poteau, and Lisa Langston, Panama, and by his children’s mother, Wynema Butler Francis, Shady Point.
Blessed with five living generations, Bill also leaves behind three granddaughters and seven grandsons and their spouses, many great-granddaughters and great-grandsons and their spouses, two great-great-granddaughters, one great-great-grandson, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Viewing will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, at Evans Funeral Home in Poteau and graveside services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Oakland Cemetery in Poteau, Southside Baptist Pastor Monty Thompson officiating.
Honorary pallbearers include his grandsons: Michael Furr, David William Butler, Ricky Butler, Daniel Butler, Jerry Butler, David Loyd Butler Jr. and Jason Priest,
Bill’s wisdom, wit, laughter, love, strength, generosity, and courageous spirit, will forever be remembered and greatly missed, but he knew that it was time for him to rest, and as he put it, to wait on the Lord.
You may leave an online message at evansandmillerfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Evans and Miller Funeral Home, Poteau.
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