Jerry E. "Bronc" Butler
February 22, 1924 - May 1, 2014
SUBLIMITY - Bronc, 90, died Thursday, May 1 in Sublimity. He was born in a two room cabin along the rail line outside of Sheridan, WY. At the age of 4 his family moved to southern California. While there, a photograph of Bronc was used as a prop in a James Cagney movie, portraying a young Cagney. Bronc also appeared in a Jerry Weisenmiller Tarzan movie. By the time he was school aged, the family was living in Coquille, operating a saw mill. In the summers, Bronc would travel back to Wyoming to buck hay and work with his uncles on the ranch. It was one of these summer adventures where "Bronc" was coined. Bronc insisted on attempting to ride the one horse, a black stallion named Jet, that he had been instructed to avoid. The horse shot off like a bullet; bucking, turning, and twisting with Bronc holding on for dear life. The name stuck and followed him into the service. Following high school, Bronc attended the University of Oregon where he played football prior to entering the military. He was a nose gunner in the Pacific Rim during WWII. In reflecting upon his experience he would say, "I was the first one in, and the first one out." While stationed with the Army Air Corp in Tucson, AZ he met Gloria Brena. They married August 25, 1946 in New Mexico. The couple moved to Oregon following his discharge from the service where Bronc obtained a master's in education from Linfield College, locating in Stayton as an educator in 1950. In 1953 he changed careers and went to work at what was then the Stayton Canning Company as Personnel Manager. As the company grew, so did his responsibilities, retiring from NORPAC Foods after 35 years as Director of Labor & Public Affairs, where labor negotiations and lobbying were his passions. Along the way he obtained a law degree from Lewis & Clark College. He was the business representative on the Employment Board of Appeals for 18 years. He served as board member on the boards of Associated Oregon Industries (AOI), NW Food Processors' Association, and Oregonians for Food and Shelter. He represented NORPAC on the Stayton and Salem Chambers, and he was a recipient of the Stayton First Citizen Award. He is survived by his wife Gloria; children: Darrel Butler of Sunnyvale, CA, and Lisa (Bruce) Trussell of Stayton; grandchildren: Katie (Daniel) Koenig of Stayton, Brandon and Kimi Butler of Sacramento, CA; Cody Trussell (Melissa Griffin) of Portland; Brett (Kasia) Trussell of Stayton; and great-grandsons Wyatt, Mason, Noah, and Brody Koenig, and Lane Trussell. Bronc was preceded in death by his son Lance and his sister Louise Erickson. Vigil Service will be Monday, May 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm and Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 11:00; both at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Stayton, where he was a member. Interment will be in St. Mary Cemetery, Stayton. Contributions may be made to St. Mary Catholic School or Regis High School. Serving the family, North Santiam Funeral Service, Stayton.
North Santiam Funeral Service
224 N 3rd Ave. Slayton, OR 97383
Published in StatesmanJournal on May 4, 2014