David Butcher (1937 - 2017)

Obituary
5 entries
  • "Dear Sylvia and Family, My heartfelt sympathy for your..."
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    - J W
  • "My deepest condolences for your loss. May your memories..."
    - Deborah Lawrence
  • "Sylvia and family. You are in our hearts and prayers for..."
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Longtime Alaskan David Butcher passed away peacefully on Oct. 24, 2017, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska, surrounded by his family after a nearly three year battle with cancer.
David was born on Sept. 9, 1937, in Ogden, Utah, to his parents, Harold and Hazel Butcher. He was the middle child in the Butcher family, his birth following that of his brother Darwin and preceding his sister Paula. The family moved around the western United States for a few years until settling in Anchorage in the mid-1940s. David attended elementary, junior high and high school in Anchorage, graduating from Anchorage High School in 1955. He attended a number of universities, including Brigham Young University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, but it was at San Jose State University that he met the woman that would become the love of his life for over half a century, Sylvia Cowdrey.
David and Sylvia married in Long Beach, Calif., on June 15, 1963, and drove up the Alaska Highway to make their home in Anchorage soon after. Their first child Bryan was born in Anchorage in 1964, followed by daughter Stacy in Santa Clara, Calif., in 1967, and son Clay in Anchorage in 1971.
David spent his career as a homebuilder, starting with building homes in the pre-pipeline days of the 1960s and ending his career by building the family home on Dahl Lane in the late 1980s. His true joy was his children. David sacrificed potential financial gain to prioritize always being there as his children grew up, a sacrifice not uncommon by fathers today but quite unusual in the '60s and '70s. In his leisure time, David enjoyed visiting the family cabin in Cooper Landing (that he helped his father build in the 1950s), family vacations to Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, and playing, coaching and watching his favorite sport of basketball. He also enjoyed photography (his photos of Alaska sunsets are voluminous), football and was an avid reader his entire life.
David is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sylvia; children, Bryan (Elizabeth) of Anchorage, Stacy of Puyallup, Wash., and Clay (Laura) of Anchorage; and he is also survived by six grandchildren, Victoria Petersen, Laura Petersen, Alison Butcher, Lucas Butcher, Andrew Butcher and Jules Butcher, all of Anchorage.
David was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Hazel Butcher; and his sister, Paula Bliss.
There will be a small celebration of life for family that will be on a yet to be determined date. David's ashes will be scattered at a number of his favorite places, including the Butcher family cabin on the banks of Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing and on the beach in Maui, Hawaii. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please give to the , the Alzheimer's Resource of Alaska or any other needy charity.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Nov. 5 to Nov. 6, 2017
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