• "May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow."
  • "Such a remarkable woman with a spirit for adventure! Our..."
    - Julia Grimes
  • "My deepest sympathy on your loss may your hearts be filled..."
    - Faye

BUTERA, Ruth E. 97, passed away February 6, 2019. She was born April 18, 1921 in Footville, Wisconsin to the late Frank and Vida (Snyder) Denney. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Nick M. Butera, Sr.; son, Nick M. Butera, Jr and her life partner of 40 years, Tommy Gilbert. Left to cherish her memory are her loving daughters, Viann Butera Hardy and her husband DeVon of Panama City, Florida and Carol Butera and her husband Parlane Reid of Sarasota; daughter-in-law, Joan M. Butera of Tucson; grandchildren, Simeon Hardy, Jaxon Hardy, Ella Dutton, Emily Ragland, Eric Christopher Jorgensen and Eric Michael Taggart and 11 great-grandchildren. Ruth embodied the definition of a life well lived. She lived her early years as an only child in Footville, Wisconsin living over a hardware store. Then the family traveled west to Tucson in her dad's homemade trailer. In Tucson the family settled on a cattle ranch in Cortaro outside of Tucson where Ruth often helped with the branding of the cattle. She was an excellent marksman and horseback rider- a real "Annie Oakley". She loved dogs and cats and had plenty of both. She attended Tucson High School and one year of UofA majoring in accounting. In Tucson she worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad for many years. She was an avid Arizona Wildcats. In 1942 she was married to Nick Butera Sr. at St. Peter and Paul's in Tucson. Together in 1952 they started Butera Real Estate and Insurance Company (later called Butera Trust) where she served as Vice President well in to her 90's. Ruth served as the 1st woman president of Southern Mortgage Bankers Association, and as President of Butera Trust after Nick died. Together they raised three children and six grandchildren. They enjoyed all kinds of dancing especially square dancing, and were active in the American Field Service hosting foreign exchange students. Ruth was an active member of St. James United Methodist church and did volunteer work at the hospital. Ruth never really retired. But she did find time to take up hiking and backpacking. She hiked all over the world including Kilimanjaro (at age 79!), Swiss Alps, Grand Canyon, and all the hiking trails around Tucson. As a hiker she is mentioned in a few hiking books and is featured on the cover of two hiking books. Being fluent in Spanish she made frequent trips to Mexico and lived with several Mexican families. She met Tommy and as a couple they traveled all over the world visiting more than 40 countries in all continents (except Australia and Antarctica). Together they also trained several service dogs for Tommy. Three years ago she made a trip to Florida to visit her daughters but became ill and took up residence in Florida living with her daughters. While there she loved to visit Selby Gardens-her very happy place; go get pie and ice cream, visit the zoo, enjoyed music, concerts, mariachi bands, and Llamas. She got to spend more time with her daughters, grandchildren and great- grandchildren. Ruth lived, loved, and enjoyed so many chapters in her life. She was a devoted daughter and wife, an independent strong woman with many skills and interests; a wonderful mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was the epitome of a life well lived. There will be a private service for the family and close friends. Memorial contributions may be made in Ruth's honor to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236. Arrangements by MALONEY FUNERAL HOME.

Funeral Home
Maloney Funeral Home
2401 Cattlemen Road
Sarasota, FL 34232
Funeral Home Details
Send Flowers
Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Feb. 8, 2019
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.