Dr. James Walker Butin
Downing & Lahey Mortuaries & Crematory - East Wichita
Wichita, KS
Butin, Dr. James Walker, 91, died Thursday, August 7, 2014. James Walker Butin was born Friday, July 13, 1923 in Fredonia, KS and moved with his parents, Dr. James A. and Mrs. Berenice Walker Butin to nearby Chanute in 1926. Upon graduation from Chanute Senior High School in 1940, Walker was awarded a Summerfield Scholarship to the University of Kansas, graduating in 1944 with a degree in Zoology. He earned his MD from KU in 1947, followed by a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He married the former Betty Belle Launder in 1949, and the two moved to Wichita to begin his medical practice at the Wichita Clinic. After Betty Belle's death in 1981, Walker married the former Patricia (Lanning) Guinan in 1984. He often shared with his children how much both of his marriages brought him deep joy. His children remember him as patient, gentle and full of wisdomideal father. Family was among his greatest joys and highest priorities. From his first marriage are Richard Edward and wife Donna of Overland Park, KS, Philip Walker and wife Jan of Fayetteville, AR, Lucy Butin Ashby and husband Jeff of Atlanta, GA, and John Murray and wife Mary of St. Simon's Island, GA. With Patricia, he raised Eric J. Guinan of Palm Springs, CA, and Kathleen (Kate) Brown (husband Rusty of Wichita). He treasured his fourteen grandchildren. His sister, Barbara Butin Shirley lives in Dallas, TX. A younger brother, Frank Edson, died in 1976. In addition to his family, Walker was especially passionate about bird watching, music, his college fraternity, the practice of medicine, and his faith in God. Bird watching was a life-long hobby of Walker's. A co-founder of the Wichita Audubon Society (1954), he received a meritorious service award in May of 2014 for his enthusiastic support. His love of nature was contagious, and he was intentional about sharing his love of God's creation with his children and grandchildren. Favorite places included Chaplin Nature Center, near Arkansas City, the Lake of the Ozarks in MO, Grand Lake in Oklahoma, a Beaver Lake home in Arkansas, and a treasured historic pine cabin near Pikes Peak in CO. Even in childhood, Walker's home was filled with music. His parents met while performing with the Chautauqua traveling musical circuit. Jim was an accomplished whistler and bird call imitator, and Berenice was a concert-level pianist. Walker became accomplished on the flute and piccolo, playing in the concert and marching bands at KU, and finding much joy in concerts and solo appearances throughout his life. Walker was a member of the Alpha Nu chapter of Beta Theta Pi fraternity at University of Kansas and served as president during the war years. His strong ties to his home chapter made him a major contributor toward their centennial celebration in 1973. Later, he encouraged and helped found the WSU Delta Gamma chapter of Beta in 1959 and served as Chapter advisor for 15 years. He was a frequent keynote speaker at their annual Founders Day Banquets, and at their 41st celebration he was named Alumnus of the Year and honored by a formal initiation ceremony. Singing Beta songs with his Beta sons and friends was a joy that continued into his final days. Walker practiced medicine for nearly 50 years. He was deeply committed to his patients, and enjoyed their respect and admiration in return. After his graduation from KU School of Medicine in 1947, he completed his postgraduate fellowship training at the Mayo Clinic Foundation in Gastroenterology, earning a Master's degree. His research included pioneering work in esophageal manometry, published in the Mayo Clinic Journal. Walker joined the Wichita Clinic Department of Internal Medicine in 1952. His professional associations included the Medical Society of Sedgwick County (Board of Directors 1964-7, President 1968). He was St. Francis Hospital medical staff president in 1963, and served on the Board of Directors and as hospital representative to the Council on Medical Education. He was part of a dedicated group that established the postgraduate training program which developed into the KU School of Medicine-Wichita. Dr. Butin's final years of medicine were spent in education; he was promoted to Clinical Professor at the school in 1991. His teaching was divided between the fields of internal medicine and geriatrics up to his retirement in 2000 at which time he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Dept. of Internal Medicine. He was a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and valued his membership in the Christian Medical Association and the American Gastroenterological Association. He participated as an adjunct professor in the early days of the Physician's Assistant course of the College of Health Professions at Wichita State University. Baptized and raised a Methodist, he came to love the Episcopal Church, raised his children there, and continued as an active member of St. James, St. Albans, and later St. Stephens parishes in Wichita. Hymns and church music were among his greatest joys, and he loved singing tenor in the church choir, playing his flute for worship, and studying the Bible and the Christian heritage. His faith was reflected in everything he said and didmedical mission work in the Dominican Republic, family devotions at the cabin, a 40+ year commitment to his men's prayer group, and a profound personal prayer life all served as powerful examples for his family and friends. In lieu of flowers, memorials are welcomed to Episcopal Social Services (P.O. Box 670, Wichita, KS, 67201), or the Wichita Audubon Society (P.O. Box 47607, Wichita, KS 67201). Memorial Service will be at 1:00 P.M., Monday, August 11, 2014, at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. Downing & Lahey East Mortuary. Share tributes online at: www.dlwichita.com

Published by Wichita Eagle from Aug. 9 to Aug. 10, 2014.
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26 Entries
Love you, Grandad.
Samuel Ashby
November 23, 2014
So sorry to hear about Walker's passing, Pat. How we loved seeing him walk through the neighborhood, binoculars around his neck, and a kind greeting to us. Our thoghts and prayers are with you & your family.
Gary & Karen Nye
August 27, 2014
Dr. Burtin was at my brother's baseball games. I remember playing with Lucy and watching our brothers play ball. He always had a small and talked to everyone that was there. He will be surely missed.
Martha M
August 21, 2014
Dr Butin was my late Mother's physician at the Wichita Clinic for over 25 years. My Mom suffered from a chronic illness that deeply affected her quality of life. Dr. Butin was very kind,attentive,& provided my Mother excellent care. I remember him calling our home numerous times to check on her. I shall never forget the kindness he demonstrated toward my Mother. May God grant your family the peace that only he can provide when our loved one's pass on. Thank you Dr. Butin .. as my family remarked when you retired.."they don't make them like him anymore". Blessings... family of Dorothy Douglas
Yolanda Boone
August 19, 2014
Sorry to hear about your loss. Hope you will find peace in all the wonderful memories.
Sharon Martin (Cushman)
August 17, 2014
I'm thinking of you today, Pat. Just read his obituary, he was a very special person and I know you have a lot of special memories of your marriage to him. Love Vada
August 17, 2014
The Hanna's are thinking of you all. Hugs and prayers
William and Tanya Hanna
August 13, 2014
A brother, mentor, leader and humble presence. I was made better by simply having known him. We all were. -kai-
Chris Eden
August 12, 2014
I recall a story of a trip to Florence with his bride. He held what he loved in such esteem. God blessed us to know you sir.
Ryan O'Donnell
August 12, 2014
I was privileged to know Dr Butin for many years as I started working at the Wichita Clinic for a physician who was just down the hall from Dr Butin. When I first met him, I told him that I used to go to a doctor that had the same last time and he also delivered one brother and two sisters of mine. He quickly asked what town I was from and I simply stayed "Chanute Ks" and I still remember his smile (like the one in above) as he proudly told me that my doctor happened to be his father!I told him how I still remember his stature, his lack of hair (ha) and his professionalism, even as a young child. I posted the obituary on my facebook page and many of my Chanute friends have posted their remarks about him also. To see those remarks, you may check on facebook under Polly Broyles to read those remarks. I am afraid I gave the wrong name to John, one of his sons, at the service yesterday. It was a great honor to be able to know this doctor, and his father and also to meet another son who is following in his grandfather and father's footsteps. God bless you all.
Polly Broyles
August 12, 2014
My sympathy to all of the Butin family-- you were blessed with the wonderful life of Walker. His family is an outstanding legacy.
Karen Shaylor
August 12, 2014
The Butins were our next door neighbors as I grew up on South Terrace Drive. When I crushed my finger in a swingset, Dr Butin was quickly at my mom's side to help. I spent many hours playing with Rick and Phil while their mom gardened. What lovely family memories. So sorry for your loss.
Paula Skinner
August 12, 2014
What a great life was lived by a great man.
Bruce Schreck
August 11, 2014
Pat, Thinking of you on your loss. Dr.Capper
August 11, 2014
On behalf of the men of Beta Theta Pi at Wichita State University, we would like to thank Dr. Butin for his help in the creation of our chapter and his numerous years of service to the men he so proudly called brothers. Only a few us current undergraduates ever had the honor of meeting Brother Butin in person, but all of us know him, as he will live on in our local lore forever.

Beta Theta Pi Delta Gamma Chapter
August 11, 2014
Sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Walker Butin from your long ago neighbors on Mission Rd.: Alfred, Beth, Fred, Chris, Peter, David and Kathryn James.
Alfred James
August 11, 2014
Walker was a fine fellow, good friend, and great physician. In 1947 his pal, Jim Roderick, MD, asked him to serve as best man at his wedding in Greenwich, CT. The bride was my sister, Nancy Tomlinson. Walker, Jim, Jim's sister Ina and I drove from Kansas for the occasion ... a trip which was, to say the least, memorable. Walker and Jim kept us laughing the whole way. Walker cared for multiple members of my family through the years with great skill, patience and fortitude. He will be missed by all who knew him as a friend and physician. My condolences to Pat and the rest of his family. Most sincerely, Pat Tomlinson Roth
Pat Tomlinson Roth
August 10, 2014
Dr. Butin is simply one of the finest gentleman I ever met. His contributions to our fraternity, and the impact he had on the young men in the Delta Gamma chapter, are immeasurable. I am sorry I will be traveling and unable to attend the memorial service to honor a good and great man and a life so well lived. - Kai -
Jeff DeGraffenreid
August 10, 2014
Weldon Clopton
August 10, 2014
Dr Butin I was honored to know and your "buckle the seat belt" lecture to me probably saved my life once or twice. I'm so glad we were able to present the Wichita Audubon Meritorious Service award to you in the last year of your life. You just kept on going with optimism and dignity even as you became so heart-breakingly weak and frail. I am honored to have known you.
Pete Janzen
August 9, 2014
I first met Dr. Butin when I came to Wichita in 1963. I went through rush and pledged Beta Theta Pi at the University of Wichita. "Doc" was the first alum I met, and he was so insightful, inspirational, jovial, articulate, and showed an honest love of the fraternity and care of the men in it. I will forever value his friendship. I know he will be missed by his family, his friends, his profession, and the brothers in his fraternity.
John Kniseley
August 9, 2014
My condolences to the Butin family. I knew Walker from when we worked with the scout troop at Plymouth Congregational Church and his boys were in the troop. It was always a pleasure and a great learning experience to go camping with Walker. His dedication to his family was in itself a lesson in how a good life should be lived.
J. Corry Tinsmon
August 9, 2014
Dr. Butin saw me through very difficult ulcerative colitis. He had the rare talent of making me feel as though I was his only patient, even though I knew differently! He was always so kind, gentle, interested and interesting! I owe him a great deal. He will be missed.
Wendy Estes
August 9, 2014
I knew Dr. Butin from Wichita Clinic and birding. It was always a joy to see and visit with him. He made wonderful contributions to the community. He will be missed!
Carolyn Schwab
August 9, 2014
I am confident that my late wife would have died in the late sixties except for the skill of Dr. Butin - she died in 2002. I really appreciate the extra 30 plus years I had her.
Merle Walker
August 8, 2014
I worked with Dr. Butin at the KU School of Medicine-Wichita. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He was an empathic physician and a wonderful teacher imparting his knowledge of medicine to both medical students and resident physicians. After he retired, I always enjoyed seeing him and his wife at our departmental social events and graduations. My sincere condolences to his family.
Jill Longstaff
August 8, 2014
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