Benard R. Butler, Sr., age 86, of Sibley, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at Prairie View Home in Sanborn, Iowa. He will be cremated.
Memorial Services will be Monday, December 23, 2013 at 1:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Home in Sibley, Iowa. Rev. Terry Simm officiating. Burial to follow at the Holman Township Cemetery in Sibley.
There will not be a time of visitation.
Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to www.andringafuneralhome.com
The Andringa Funeral Home of Sibley in charge of arrangements for Benard R. Butler Sr.
Benard Roy Butler, Sr. was born on April 29, 1927 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was one of four sons born to Ralph and Phyllis (Weller) Butler. Benard’s mother passed away when he was 15 years old. His father was the third hired employee of Sioux Falls Gas Company. As a teen, Benard helped his father dig the first natural gas lines that came into Sioux Falls. He and his brothers, Al, Harry and Ralph Jr., helped their father build a basement home on North Lewis Avenue. Benard attended Washington High School which has now been renovated into the Washington Pavilion. His fondest memory was at age 15, buying a 1936 Chrysler that his uncle had owned and refurbishing the car back to drive-ability, all with wages earned part-time at John Morrell in the lard department. He drove the car for one year and then decided to join the Navy in June of 1944. He went through basic training in Farrugut, Idaho, then to the USS Pitt APA 223 and directly to the Sea of Japan.
He married Erma Humphrey of Luverne, Minnesota in 1946. She stayed in Oceanside, California on base while Benard was at sea.
In 1947, their first daughter, Phyllis was born. Benard re-enlisted and went to a re-training program at Mare Island. In 1948, a son was born, Benard Butler Jr. After his re-training he was re-assigned to USS Mt. McKinley and went to sea. In 1949, a daughter Sandra Butler was born and in 1950, a son Kim Butler was born.
Benard served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. After Vietnam, he went into officer’s school and made rank of CS1. He retired from the Navy as a 30 year Naval Veteran and became a Fleet Reserve Member. He committed his life to this county, at sea, and paid the cost of being away from his family.
He has crossed over the equator several times and sailed all over the world. His favorite place, that represented the most beauty in life, was Morocco.
In retirement, Ben owned his own semi-truck and trailer. He hauled water for Ramona, California and lumber from Washington State. He also ran a heavy equipment rental business.
In 1983, he moved to Kanab, Utah, bought a lot, cleared it with heavy equipment and moved a manufactured home onto the site. He studied horticulture and took pride in his flower beds and landscaping and loved to tinker in his shop. Ben has always flown the American Flag properly and with great pride. He always found time for hunting and fishing with his brothers and grandchildren. Ben was a lifetime member of Bass Masters.
He has lived in 7 or 8 different states and always found his way back to the Sioux Falls area. In 2011, Ben moved back to his roots and was a resident of Prairie View Manor in Sanborn, Iowa. Erma passed away in January of 2012. On Tuesday, December 17, 2013, Ben passed away at Prairie View.
Those left to cherish his memories are his children, Phyllis and husband Joe Mills of Spring Valley, CA, Benard Roy Jr. and wife Sandy Butler of Sibley, IA, Sandra Antell of Rohnert Park, CA, Tom Butler of Sheldon, IA, Kim Butler of Spring Valley, CA; ten grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; one brother, Ralph Butler of Bossier City, LA and one sister-in-law, Doreen Butler of Sioux Falls, SD.