William Osborne Butler, Jr.
Published 4:36 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2012
William Osborne Butler, Jr. (“Cracker”) passed away on July 22, 2012 in Montgomery, Ala. He was born November 2, 1915 in Greenville, Ala. He and his twin sister, Lillian, were the youngest of eight children. His parents were William O. Butler and Lillian DePriest Butler. Also preceding him in death were an infant daughter, Marletta; brothers, Grady and George Butler; and sisters, Louise Tucker, Lena Claire Gay, Laurice Walthall, Leota Mahone, and twin sister, Lillian Thomas. He married Mary Elizabeth Hutto (“Lib”) of Denmark, SC on October 18, 1941 at First Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL. After graduating from Butler County High School in 1934, he entered Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University). He was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity and Scabbard and Blade Military Fraternity. In 1938 he was appointed a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. That same year he began his insurance career with the Alabama Inspection and Rating Bureau in Montgomery. He was ordered to active duty with the U. S. Army on March 12, 1941. He served at Camp Livingston, LA; Camp Shelby, MS; Ft. McPherson, GA; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and Okinawa. He graduated from the Command and Staff School, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas in 1943. After completing active duty on March 26, 1946 with the rank of Lt. Colonel, he continued his military career in the active reserves and retired as a Colonel. He re-entered the insurance business in 1946 and began his own business in 1956, operating as W. O. Butler and Co., Inc., Managing General Agents. He represented several property insurance companies in Alabama. During his active insurance business years, he served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Managing General Agents. He sold this agency in 1984 and retired. He has been a member of First Baptist Church in Montgomery since 1947. He taught college age boys in Sunday School for 5 1/2 years and was a member of the Poundstone Sunday School Class. He was past president of the Downtown Optimist Club; a member of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce; past president of the Montgomery Auburn Club; served on the Board of Directors of the Auburn University Alumni Association and was a member of the Samford Society of Auburn University. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Elizabeth “Lib” Butler; his daughters, Laurice Kirkham and her husband, Robert (Bob) of Sweet Water, AL; Linda Coleman and her husband, Joe of Marietta, GA; and his son, William O. Butler, III (Bill) and his wife Barbara of Montgomery; six grandchildren: James C. Thomas, Jr. and his wife, Laurie, of Lafayette, IN; Lisa Knight and her husband, James (“Bo”) of Wetumpka, AL; Lauren Coleman of Atlanta, GA; Ashley Coleman Gimbel and her husband, John of Omaha, NE; Becky Butler Sharp and her husband, Jimmy of Montgomery, AL; Will Butler IV of Birmingham, Alabama; and eight great grandchildren: Josiah, Nathanael, Rebekah and Ethan Thomas of Lafayette, IN; Turner, Helen, and Hunter Knight of Wetumpka, AL; and Lillian Sharp of Montgomery, AL. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and other relatives. Funeral services will be held today at 11 am at Leak Memory Chapel with Dr. Jay Wolf officiating. The family will receive friends beginning at 10 am. Private graveside services will be at 3 pm at Magnolia Cemetery in Greenville, AL. Pallbearers will be grandsons and great grandsons. Honorary pallbearers will be nieces and nephews; members of the Poundstone Sunday School Class; members and former members of the SA Club; Dr. H. Walker Brown; George Haigler, Spencer Ryan and George Smith. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to any children’s home; the First Baptist Caring Center, 305 S. Perry Street, Montgomery, AL 36104; or a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at www.leak-mc.com