Jeremy Edward "Jerry" Butler

Butler, Jeremy Edward "Jerry"
Jerry Butler, 81, of Phoenix, Arizona, died on Monday, March 5, 2012. He was born on April 9, 1930 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and raised, along with his brothers Roger, Danny and Bruce, by his father Edward and his mother Gwenyth in various small towns in North Dakota and Minnesota, including Fargo, Jamestown, and Bemidji. He graduated from Jamestown High School in 1947 and attended The Phillips Exeter Academy in 1948. Jerry enrolled at Yale University in 1948 and graduated with a degree in history in 1952. He met Penelope Franklin Wells while he was at Yale and she was at Vassar College. They married in the fall of 1952. Jerry spent four years in the United States Navy, from 1952 to 1956, serving mostly on the aircraft carrier USS Wright during the Korean War. While still in the Navy, Jerry taught and attended Columbia University in New York City, receiving a Master's degree in history. (Penny typed his Master's thesis.) After completing his active service, Jerry returned to New Haven, Connecticut to attend Yale Law School, from which he graduated in 1959. Jerry and Penny moved to Phoenix in 1959, where he took a job as a law clerk for Arizona Supreme Court Justice Fred Struckmeyer. In 1960, Jerry joined the law firm Lewis, Roca, Scoville, Beauchamp & Linton (now Lewis and Roca), where he practiced law as a trial lawyer and family lawyer for 42 years. In 2002, Jerry left Lewis and Roca and formed his own practice, as a lawyer and mediator (located initially in a warehouse in the Downtown Phoenix/Roosevelt Row Arts District), which he continued until his death. Jerry is survived by his wife Penny, brothers Roger (Bonnie) and Bruce (Marilyn), sisters-in-law Sally and Gay (David), sons Jeremy (Marysia) and Reid (Shawna), daughters Lydia Beaulieu (John) and Starin, eight grandchildren (Ian, Sarah, Josh, Chad, Kylie, Alex, Sam, Luc), grandson-in-law Matthew, three great-grandchildren (Emma, Jesse, Liam), and many loving nieces and nephews. His interests were broad: creative writing, history, mysteries, music, film (Telluride Film Festival), sports (Phoenix Roadrunners ice hockey in particular) and anything that interested Penny or his children or grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, March 13, at 4:30 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4027 East Lincoln Road, Paradise Valley, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in Jerry's name to Community Legal Services or Planned Parenthood. A quote Jerry loved from Bertrand Russell: "This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and I would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me."

Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 11, 2012