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Detective Elizabeth Chase Butler

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Detective Elizabeth Chase Butler Obituary
Detective Elizabeth Chase Butler

Santa Cruz Police Department Detective Elizabeth Chase Butler was shot and killed while conducting a police investigation on Branciforte Avenue in Santa Cruz, California on February 26, 2013. Elizabeth was a longtime resident of Santa Cruz, having first come to the city to attend the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1992. The 38-year-old was a ten-year veteran of the Santa Cruz Police Force, who had attained the rank of detective in charge of sex crimes investigations. Elizabeth excelled at interviewing both suspects and victims. She was also known for her detailed and comprehensive reports and her impressive testimony in court. Her passion to help others grew as she handled more and more cases with child and female victims. During her years as an officer of the SCPD, she also worked on a drug task force, a hostage negotiations team, and on several homicide investigations. Elizabeth was born on March 16, 1974 in Boulder, Colorado. She was the youngest daughter of Gerald Butler, a Northrop Grumman fluid mechanics engineer, who is deceased, and Louise Butler, a retired teacher at Hawthorne High School in Hawthorne, California. Elizabeth attended St. Margaret Mary Grade School in Lomita, California, Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, California, and University of California in Santa Cruz. After receiving her bachelor's degree in 1996 in community studies from UCSC with special projects at the La Familia Center and the Homeless Garden Project, Elizabeth found employment at Lenders for Community Development in San Jose, where she was trained to help minority small business owners obtain start up loans. Eventually, she moved to San Francisco for three years and began working for Wells Fargo Bank. After the tragedy of 9-11, Elizabeth and her long-time partner Peter Wu, presently a Santa Cruz Metro employee, moved back to Santa Cruz and started the Clay Digs, a ceramics studio on Swift Street. In 2003, Elizabeth was accepted into the Santa Cruz Police Department. Elizabeth is survived by her much loved partner Peter Wu and their two sons Joaquin Wu, age 5 ½ and Stellan Wu, age 2 ½. Many people in the city of Santa Cruz know Elizabeth and her family through Musical Me classes, WPENS preschool classes, and the couple's former ceramics business, The Clay Digs. Elizabeth is also survived by her mother, Louise, and her adored sister Alexis Butler, a Film Production teacher at Culver City High School in Culver City, California. Elizabeth also leaves behind her much admired 91-year-old grandmother, Nelda Osborne, a retired high school art teacher who resides in Lake Oswego, Oregon. In addition, Elizabeth was especially close to her uncles and aunts, Chase and Wynne Osborne of Bend, Oregon, and Peter and Terry Osborne of Portland, Oregon. She was particularly close to her five cousins: Alex Osborne of Berkeley, California, Peter Osborne of Huntington Beach, California, Ally Kreuger of San Francisco, California, Casey Rodhouse of Bend, Oregon, and Louise Osborne of Portland, Oregon. She was much loved by her uncle Frank Butler of New Orleans and by her partner's aunt and uncle, Sam and Haley Chan of British Columbia, Canada. A funeral service honoring slain officers Elizabeth Butler and Loren "Butch" Baker will take place on Thursday, March 7 at 11 a.m. at the new Santa Cruz Warrior's Arena, with overflow seating at the Santa Cruz Civic Center. Preceding this service, there will be a law enforcement procession starting at the Watsonville Fair Grounds leaving at approximately 8 a.m. ending up at the Arena. After this official police event, there will be a reception at the Sun Room at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk starting at approximately 1 p.m. All are invited. Many dignitaries will be speaking. There will be a funeral mass at the Holy Cross Catholic Church at 210 High Street in Santa Cruz on Friday, March 8. A reception follows the service in the church parish hall next door. Call the church for more information (831) 423-4973. Anyone in the community who knew Elizabeth Butler or her family are invited. Please sign the guestbook
at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze from Mar. 5 to Mar. 6, 2013
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