Obituary of Donald J. Butler

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Donald J. Butler

March 8, 1947 - September 24, 2000

Atlantic News, September 28, 2000

HAMPTON -- Donald J. Butler, 53, of 8 Jeffrey Drive, died Sunday, Sept. 24, 2000, at the Exeter Hospital.

He was born March 8, 1947 in Troy, N.Y., the son of Elizabeth (Alward) Butler of Clifton Park, N.Y., and the late Leander Butler.

He was a graduate of Shenendehowa Regional High School in Elnora, N.Y. He graduated from Salem State College, Salem, Mass., with a BA in business.

He resided in New York for most of his life, moving to Boston and Virginia before moving to Hampton in 1982. He was an employee of the U.S. Treasury Department in Andover, Mass., for the past 26 years, most recently working as an audit manager.

He was a U.S. Navy veteran.

He was an active member of the Hampton Youth Association, serving as the past president and was also the basketball commissioner for several years and coached basketball, baseball and soccer.

He was predeceased by a brother, Bruce Butler.

He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Heidi H. Butler; two sons, Jonathan Butler and Jeffrey Butler, both of Hampton; a daughter, Kate Butler of Hampton; one brother, William Butler of Woodside, Calif.; one sister, Leeann Warren of Schenectady,N.Y.; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated today at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church, 289 Lafayette Road, Hampton. Burial will be in the High Street Cemetery, Hampton.

Memorial donations may be made to the Hampton Youth Association, P.O. Box 81, Hampton, NH 03843.

HYA Mourns Loss of Commissioner

By Nancy Rineman

Atlantic News, September 28, 2000

HAMPTON -- Friends and associates continued to express shock and sadness after learning of the death of Hampton resident and Youth Association enthusiast Donald J. Butler on Sunday of this week.

Hampton Youth Association President William Morrissey said he and other members of the board of directors had remained optimistic about Butler's recovery following an illness which had struck three weeks ago. However, none of them had realized the severity of his condition and "we had gotten our hopes up," Morrissey said on Tuesday.

An emotional Morrissey told the Atlantic News that people could never realize the commitment Butler had made to the community and to youth sports with regard to the amount of work, toil and chaos, as Morrissey described it. Butler's current position, that of basketball commissioner, was the most difficult of all, Morrissey said, a position Butler had held for the past seven consecutive years.

"He was the cornerstone of the HYA," Morrissey said of Butler. "He was the most senior member by far." Morrissey said Butler spent the past 15 years devoting his time to "pure volunteerism," and had given thousands of hours of his own time acting as a "sheep herder for children."

Morrissey said Butler's contributions to the association were "purely unsung," and while Morrissey's association with the Hampton Youth Association has spanned only the past five years, he knew that Butler's unyielding efforts were responsible for innumerable improvements to town facilities, including backboards for the lower gymnasium at Hampton Academy Junior High, new padding for HAJH's upper gym, and concession stands at both Tuck Field and Kids Kingdom.

With Hampton Youth Association's present number of 2500 kids participating in basketball, soccer and baseball, Morrissey said the number of youth from Hampton, Hampton Falls, and North Hampton alone affected by Butler's involvement over the years would be difficult to extrapolate.

Morrissey said the HYA never refused any child from participating in sports, no matter what their hometown, and that Butler's goal was "purely for the child to be out there playing sports."

Brian Warburton, chairman of the Hampton board of selectmen, publicly voiced his condolences to the family of Don Butler at Monday night's selectmen's meeting. Warburton also spoke of Butler's thousands and thousands of hours as a member of the Hampton Youth Association.

"He will be sorely missed," Warburton said.

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