Gerald (Gerry) Thompson Butts, 89, of Swansboro died peacefully on Monday, May 19, 2014, at the N.C. State Veterans Home in Kinston, N.C.
Gerry grew up in Central N.Y. in the small township of Victory. While serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII, he earned the American Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victory Medal. After his honorable discharge, he returned home to design, build and operate "Butts Tree Movers" with his father, Jean G. Butts. It was the premier large tree moving business in the Eastern U.S.
Gerry met and married Shirley Hulbirt in 1947 and they resided in Victory, N.Y. He was a member of the Victory Volunteer Fire Department for nearly 40 years and their Fire Chief for many of those years. He was also very active in the nearby Cato Rotary Club.
After retiring and much traveling, Gerry and Shirley moved to Swansboro, N.C. in 1982. However, retirement was short lived as Gerry, at age 65, became a N.C. licensed EMT and volunteered hundreds of hours with the Swansboro EMS/Rescue Squad and Fire Department. He held the position of Chief and was recognized numerous times as Member of the Year in both organizations. He was the Fire Prevention Officer for the fire department for many years, teaching children how to be safe. Gerry was also an active member of the American Legion and Swansboro Methodist Men. His loving wife. Shirley. passed in 1996.
He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, George and Linda Butts; daughter and son-in-law, Helen and Franklin Cizerle; 5 grandchildren, Jonathan Benne, Kathleen Bremer, Charise Nichols, Kirk Cizerle and Kim Cizerle; 9 great-grandchildren, Jacob, Ryan, Ella, Cydney, Emerson, Jaxon, Ava, Carter and Eli; and his companion of many years, Evelyn P. Willis.
A celebration of life, officiated by Dr. Ed Gunter and Mr. Doug Johndrow, will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, May 31, 2014, at Swansboro United Methodist Church. Expressions of sympathy may be mailed to the Butts family at 303 River Reach Court, Swansboro, N.C. 28584.
In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates donations to Swansboro Volunteer EMS/Rescue Squad at P.O. Box 974, Swansboro, N.C. 28584, Swansboro Volunteer Fire Department at 601 W. Corbett Ave., Swansboro, N.C. 28584, SUMC-JOY Sunday School Class at 665 W. Corbett Ave., Swansboro, N.C. 28584 or a
Jones Funeral Home of Jacksonville, N.C. assisted in final arrangements.