August 20, 1932 - December 2, 2020
Perry M. Butterfield, age 88, died suddenly and unexpectedly at home of natural causes (not related to COVID) on December 2, 2020. She was preceded in death by her first husband Bruce Nevin Carson, her second husband Dr. L. Joseph Butterfield, and two of her children: Brigid Butterfield Sherrard and Brian Joseph Butterfield. Additionally, and sadly, Perry's sister Tate Todd (Greeley) died four days prior to Perry. Perry is survived by two of her children Bruce Kendrick Carson Butterfield of Denver, Co (Kathleen Obechina Carson Butterfield) and Tate Butterfield Ulrich of Monument, Co (Kurt John Ulrich); as well as four grandchildren: Kiel Tatiana Carson Butterfield of Shelbyville, Kentucky (Jason Malin), Connolly Alyse Carson Butterfield of Amman, Jordan, Erin Brigid Ulrich of Golden, Co (Jason Trujillo- partner) and Stefan Conner Ulrich of Lafayette, Co.
Born to Idris Kendrick and Lawrence Perry McArthur of Greeley, Colorado, she was the granddaughter of early Colorado pioneer families; C.A. Kendrick, of Kendrick Bellamy Company Denver and D.R. McArthur of Aspen, Cripple Creek and Greeley.
She attended Smith College for her undergraduate degree in History. After graduating from Smith in 1954, she married Bruce Nevin Carson. They had a son Bruce Kendrick Carson (1955-present). Perry and Mr. Carson were involved in a horrific and deadly motor vehicle accident in 1955. Perry sustained life threatening injuries but would survive. Mr. Carson was tragically killed, leaving Perry widowed with her infant son. After a long and arduous recovery, Perry married Dr. L. Joseph Butterfield in 1958. Dr. Butterfield adopted Perry's young son, and they went on to have three additional children: Brigid Butterfield [ Sherrard] (1958-1981), Brian Joseph Butterfield (1959-1998), and Elizabeth Tate Butterfield [Ulrich] (1962-present).
Perry's professional life began as a special education teacher for migrant families in Fort Lupton, Co. After earning her master's degree in Psychology from University of Colorado- Denver (with Residency program under Dr. T. Berry Brazelton- Harvard University), she became a Research Psychologist with the Department of Psychiatry (Univ. of Colo. School of Medicine). Some of the research on which she worked with her colleagues was groundbreaking, and directly showed the negative impact on mother/newborn bonding by the practice of instilling Silver Nitrate into the eyes of newborns. Perry authored several scholarly books and articles. Additionally, she developed a program for professionals working with high-risk parents called Partners in Parenting Education (PIPE). Her crowning achievement was a published work called Read Your Baby. Which illustrated the importance of teaching new parents how to read, understand and respond to emotional and facial cues of their babies.
All the while Perry was a dedicated mother, who raised four children but also remained active and dedicated to her passions and her community. She was generous with her volunteer time including serving as a Girl Scout Leader for 12 years, Probation Officer and co-coordinator of volunteers for the Volunteer Probation Program through Denver County Court.
She held positions on several boards throughout the region including: Board of Directors for The Aspen School for the Deaf, President of the first class of Leadership Denver, President Women's Environmental Coalition (WECARE), VP Junior League of Denver.
She was an independent soul with an adventurous spirit, who loved to travel the world. But her passion was exploring the mountains of Colorado. As a young woman, she and her friends would hike glaciers and then revel in the thrill of skiing back down. With her vast time spent in the wilderness, she amassed tremendous knowledge of outdoor survival and a healthy respect for nature and all things wild, which she passed on to her children and grandchildren. That sense of adventure would prompt her to load up a 1969 "Special Deluxe" Buick station wagon with her four kids to provide many a thrilling, yet hair-raising adventures on the steep and narrow high mountain passes of Colorado.
She spent much of her time in old Snowmass valley, where she and Joe built a beautiful home on a spectacular piece of property on Wildcat Way. She and Joe would host guests and scholars from around the world for pleasure and for medical conferences. She loved tending the land, and acquired the name "Pyro Perry", for her propensity to burn large brush piles as she cleared her property. Many an adventure was had on the Snowmass property including a harrowing morning with a family of bears in the house!
She was an educator, a researcher, a philanthropist, a world traveler, and a defender of rights. She worked to raise awareness of and protect the environment through establishing a series of multi-use trails through out the urban corridor. She loved animals, and her home was never without a menagerie of various species who needed a loving abode.
Music filled her life, be it an ever-present melody wafting through her home, or as a dedicated patron of the arts. And many fond memories were created during family sing-alongs, which eased the boredom of long car rides, or dishwashing duties.
She was a pillar of the community, a gracious host, and a loyal friend to many. Perry was once again widowed in 1999 but had a loving and meaningful companionship with Dr. Paul Balstad (Denver) until her death.
Her grandchildren have all followed in their grandmother's steps to become educators, scientists, researchers, world travelers, outdoor explorers, and champions of the marginalized. She was supremely proud of them all.
We recognize that Perry has friends, family, and acquaintances from all over the world who would love to pay tribute to her, and we wish that we could announce a memorial service at this time. However, given the current situation with the pandemic, we are planning to hold some sort of celebration of her life next August around her birthday. We will do our best to put forth an announcement as that becomes clearer.
Correspondence and inquiries (no flowers to this address) for the family can be sent to Tate Ulrich: 15954 Jackson Creek Parkway, Suite B-box 206, Monument, Co 80132
In lieu of flowers, Perry had several entities that she loved to support including:
The Children's Hospital of Colorado: childrenscolorado.org
Planned Parenthood: plannedparenthood.org
The Denver County Animal Shelter: https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-animal-shelter
Heifer International: heifer.org
The Denver Zoo: denverzoo.org