Mr. Joseph Milton Butler, Sr. passed away Saturday, January 31, 2015 at Sampson Regional Medical Center in Clinton, NC.
Joe was born to Joseph Clement “Clem” Butler and Tera Starling Butler on February 18, 1926. He is predeceased by his beautiful wife of over 40 years, Janice Cromartie Butler. He is survived by their four children and families: Dr. Joe Butler, Jr., wife Alexandra, sons Jonathan and Patrick, and daughter Alexandra of Raleigh; Pamela Ballentine, husband Bruce of Chapel Hill, daughter Lauren Ellisberg of Raleigh and son Eric Ellisberg of Raleigh; Greg Butler, wife Alice, and sons Harrison of Roseboro and Clem of Manhattan Beach, California; Karen Smothers, husband Jim of Greensboro, son Andrew Robbins and wife Christina of Athens, GA and daughters Ashley Robbins of Mooresville and Sydney Dexter of Greensboro. He is also, survived by a brother, Frank Butler and wife Landrum of Raleigh, and a sister, Grace Elaine Adams of Fort Worth, Texas.
Joe was a graduate of Edwards Military Institute in Salemburg, NC before attending the University of North Carolina where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Upon his father’s death in 1947, he returned to Roseboro and managed his family’s farms and other businesses. He also owned and operated a Western Auto store in Roseboro. A veteran, he served in the Army from 1954 to 1956, and received an Honorable Discharge. From the mid-1950’s to the mid-1960’s he was part owner of Bryan-Butler Ford Motor Company in Roseboro. In 1966, he became part owner with his father-in-law in what would become Butler Insurance and Realty. He retired in 1992. He was a life-long member and a deacon of Roseboro Baptist Church.
Joe was active in the local community, in politics, and in his business community. Some of his accomplishments were: president of the Young Democratic Club in 1949; member and past president of the Rotary Club from 1948 to 1976; member of the Sampson County Board of Education from 1960 to 1969; first president and long-time member of Lakewood County Club; member and past vice-chairman of the Sampson County Board of Commissioners from 1976 to 1980; Board of Directors of the N.C. Association of County Commissioners; Board of Directors and past president of Region M Council of Government 1976 to 1980; member of the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standard Commissions of N.C. 1980; past president of Sampson County Democratic Men’s Club; chairman of the Roseboro A.B.C. Board; president of the North Carolina Association of A.B.C. Board 1983-84; president of the North Carolina Independent Insurance Agents of N.C. 1982-1983; past president of the Sampson County Insurance Agents; Board of Directors of First Citizens Bank of Roseboro; member of the Board of Trustees of Sampson Memorial Hospital from 1978-1984.
Joe loved to play golf, hang out at the Cabin with his buddies, travel with Janice, and see his grandchildren. He traveled with Janice and friends to Europe many times, but loved especially to go to Carolina football games with Mac and Helen Warren. A life-long Tar Heel fan and long-time Ram’s Club member, Joe traveled to New Orleans in the late 1940’s to watch UNC and Charlie “Choo-Choo” Justice play in the Sugar Bowl. Joe also, enjoyed going to New York to see baseball games. In 1951, he was at one of the most famous games in baseball history where he saw Bobby Thompson hit the “Homerun heard around the World” as “THE GIANTS WON THE PENNANT!”
In the last 7 years, Joe has suffered from dementia and has been a beloved and very spoiled resident of Autumn Wind Assisted Living in Roseboro. The family wants to thank the staff and caregivers who have taken care of him so well.
A service will be held 6 pm, Tuesday, Feb. 3, at Roseboro Baptist Church at 6 pm with the Rev. Hampton Faircloth officiating. It will be followed by visitation in the sanctuary from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Roseboro Baptist Church, 3720 S. Salemburg Highway, Roseboro, NC 28382.
Arrangements are being handled by Royal-Hall Funeral Home in Clinton.