Obituary for William "Bill" Butcher Sr.
William “Bill” Victor Butcher, Sr., 91, of Martinsburg, passed away on Wednesday, July 1, at the VA Medical Center, under the kind and vigilant care of the VA Hospice/Palliative Care Unit staff.
Born May 21, 1924, in Blair Four, PA, he was the son of the late Joseph and Barbara Bittorie Butcher. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family. He was married 66 years to the late Daisy Jean Arvin Butcher, who passed away February 27, 2012.
He is survived by two sons Bill Butcher, Jr., and wife Kathy, Falling Waters, and Joe Butcher and wife Debbie, Melbourne, Florida; five daughters, Paula Janes and husband Greg, Frann Mann and husband Howard, Sherry Rogers and husband Dave, and Marsha Sabol and husband Al, all of Martinsburg, and Janice “JC” Clarissa, Key West, Florida; 24 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He will be sadly missed by his trusted and faithful dog and companion, “Cole.”
Prior to admission to the VA Medical Center, he was under the care of Hospice of the Panhandle. The family thanks the Martinsburg VA Medical Center, Hospice of the Panhandle, and Karen Fansler, Mr. Butcher’s dedicated caregiver, for the years that she cared for him in his home.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, Frank, George, Paul, Nick, and Augustine Butcher and sister, Pauline Butcher Williams.
During World War II, he proudly served in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific. Butcher completed basic training and cook’s school (an honor student) at Great Lakes, IL, and submarine school in New London, CT, following his 1943 enlistment in the U.S. Navy. He was a Ship’s Cook First Class aboard the submarine USS Plaice SS390. The Plaice was awarded five battle stars for her service in WWII. After the war, Butcher was assigned occupation duty in Japan (Sasebo and Kota) aboard the USS Eurylaie submarine tender. Other duty stations included Guam and Pearl Harbor. He was honorably discharged in 1946. During WWII, four brothers, Frank, George, Augustine, and William Butcher all served in the U.S. Navy. He received the Submarine Combat Insignia with three stars, Asiatic Pacific Insignia with two stars, American Theater insignia, and WWII Victory medal, National Service Defense Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal. For many years, his submarine shipmates held reunions throughout the country. His wife always accompanied him to these reunions and his children often travelled with them.
After his military duty, he and his wife were tenant farmers along the Potomac River in Shepherdstown. He later worked for Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, selling items door-to-door. He retired as a machinist (starting out as a dynamite shooter at the Blairton quarry) from LTV Steel Corporation (formerly Riverton Steel Corp. and formerly Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp.) and served as Treasurer of the local union for many years. His second retirement was from Berkeley County Schools teaching machine trades at James Rumsey Technical Institute.
He and his wife owned and operated Video Memories filming videos and taking photographs of many weddings, receptions, reunions, and public events. In addition, he provided evidence videos to local attorneys. Every family gathering was recorded in videos of their children, their families, and all who graced their home. They enjoyed traveling and preserving memories for everyone.
Music and golf encompassed his life. He played the banjo, guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, often accompanied by his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He was an avid golfer, with a low handicap. He played the game from his youth (when he was caddy) until he was unable to play any longer. He was a long-time member of the Stonebridge Golf Club. He had also coached Little League and Pony League Baseball.
A Third Degree Knight, he was a member of Knights of Columbus since 1956. Other memberships included: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Tristate Base Holland Club, American Legion, and the S.O.A.R.
He was a graduate of the Martinsburg High School Class of 1941. At age 61, he obtained a BS degree from West Virginia University Institute of Technology (formerly WV Tech) in Montgomery WV.
Visitation will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, 2015, at Brown Funeral Home.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, July 6, 201,5 at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Father R. Eric Hall, IV, celebrant.
Interment prayers will be said at Rosedale Cemetery with military honors.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church, 336 N. Queen Street, Martinsburg 25401; Berkeley County Humane Society, 554 Charles Town Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405; Hospice Palliative Care Unit c/o VA Medical Center, 510 Butler Avenue, Martinsburg, WV 25405; or a charity of one’s choice.