Harlan Butts

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  • "Mr. Harlan did our taxes over the years and we will truly..."
    - William Furmage
  • "We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Harlan...."
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Obituary

Harlan E. Butts passed away on April 20, 2010 at St. Mary's Hospital. He was born in Colfax, Iowa on June 22, 1919.
He was an enterprising businessman who was involved in many ventures over his long life.
He started working at the age of 12, delivering papers. At 16, he worked at a slaughter house for 40 cents an hour. Even as a young man, Harlan knew he wanted to be his own boss, so he saved his money and bought 3 milk cows, going into the dairy business. After an injury, he bought a large truck and started hauling livestock, corn and coal. He would arrive at the coal mines at 3 a.m., sleep in his truck, so he would be the first one to load up when the coal miners came to work at 6 a.m.
He moved to California where he started a business delivering meat from Utah to restaurants in the Los Angeles area. He opened his own restaurant business, "The Harlan Café," at Wilshire and Alvarado and sold a full meal with dessert for 45 cents. The lines went around the block. He said it was the hardest work he had ever done. When he sold the restaurant, he realized that the real estate agent made a commission on the sale, so he studied real estate law and passed the exam to be a broker. He sold both private and commercial real estate. He was one of the first brokers to sell real estate in the Lake Arrowhead, Palm Springs area. His office was at the corner of 96th Street and Hoover in South Los Angeles. He studied for his insurance license and began selling insurance. He bought and ran the Amber Motel on Crenshaw Blvd., in Inglewood. In 1954, after paying taxes for many years, he decided to study the income tax laws and became a tax consultant. Harlan would continue in the tax business for the next 54 years. When the tax business ended each year on April 15th, he ran Air Way Screen and Door, installing doors and screens for many celebrities in the Los Angeles area.
Dad was a brilliant gardener; flowers, fruits and vegetables were generously given to friends, neighbors and tax clients.
He learned how to study blue prints and built four homes himself.
He moved his tax consulting business to Victorville and continued working until he turned 89 years old.
Our father believed, in the proverb "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." He lived a rich and full life and will be truly missed. He was a true entrepreneur who believed in hard work.
He is survived by his sister Violet and his children, Dorothy, Marian, Larry, Susan, Earl, Leslie, Elizabeth, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Services will be held at 11:00 on Saturday, May 1, 2010 at Sunset Hills.
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