John was a gregarious, kind, and generous man who loved people and could strike up a conversation with a stranger in a matter of minutes. His life’s motto, a poem borrowed from the Girl Scouts, was “Make new friends, but keep the old, for one is silver and the other gold.” He aimed to bring a smile to anyone who crossed his path because he always said, “you never know what kind of day someone is having”. Whether he was giving out candy bars to the veterans, adorning the graves of family, friends and colleagues to keep their memory alive, or helping a friend through hard times, he touched the lives of so many. A true gentleman, and an Irishman to the core, John treasured the moments when he could share a smile and a story with all those whom he had the good fortune to meet.
Proud of his heritage, he was a devoted member of the Cavalry Club and served on the Troop D Veterans Board of Directors for many years. He also served as a member and former President of the Deputy Sheriff’s Benevolent Association. He was an active member and past president of the Central New York Funeral Directors Association, a member of the New York State Funeral Directors Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Irish Cultural Society of Central New York, American Legion Post #239 Skaneateles, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, New York Guard, Ancient Order of Hibernians, a 40-year member of the Masonic Lodge No. 501 Liverpool, a life member of the Tigris Shrine, Central City Commandery, Central City Riverside Royal Arch Masons, 32nd degree Scottish Rite Valley of Syracuse, Central City Cryptic Council, Masonic War Veterans, Skaneateles Masonic Lodge #522, and the Skaneateles Rod & Gun Club.
John will be greatly missed and is survived by his wife of 54 years, Barbara (Comstock); three children, Stacy Drake (Dale), John G. Butler, III (Christa), and Jennifer Grippa (Chris); five grandchildren, Michael, Patrick, Hannah Jane, Chase, and Carson; three step grandchildren, Alex, Matthew, and Christopher; his sister Anna Janet Maloney-Brobst (Bernie) of Florida; his brothers Anders Butler (Deborah) of Syracuse, J. Langley Butler (Eileen) of Virginia, William Butler of Massachusetts; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, October 25th from 4 to 8pm at Robert D. Gray Funeral Home, Skaneateles, with a Masonic Service at 7:45pm. Funeral services will be held at St. Mary’s of the Lake Catholic Church, Skaneateles on Saturday, October 26th at 10:00am with a private burial to follow at Lakeview Cemetery. Following the services at 1:00pm, family and friends will gather at John’s favorite spot, the Cavalry Club, Troop K Road, Manlius to toast to his life and honor his memory. In lieu of flowers, contributions in John’s name can be made to Francis House, 108 Michaels Ave., Syracuse, NY 13208 or SAVES Ambulance of Skaneateles, or any of the organizations that John loved and supported.
The family would like to thank the talented and caring physicians and nurses at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, all of whom worked hard to care for John and prolong his life, and to the caregivers and volunteers at Francis House who gave him the very best last days of a full and rich life.
To send condolences, visit robertdgrayfuneralhome.com.