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James R. Butler, Jr. of Mountain City, Tennessee and Boone, North Carolina died Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Mountain Home, Tennessee. He had been in declining health for several months. The eldest son of the late Dr. James Roderick Butler and Pearl McChesney Butler, he was born in Mountain City, Tennessee on December 3, 1920. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, John L. Butler, and a sister, Katherine Butler.
Mr. Butler was a music major, having attended King College in Bristol, Tennessee. Pursuing a career in music, he variously served as organist for the First United Methodist Church where he was a member, as a private piano and voice teacher, and as a choral and band teacher at Johnson County High School for several years. While serving in the Army in Europe during World War II, Mr. Butler was appointed organist and choral director for a United States Armed Forces Rest and Recreation Center in Bad Tolz, Bavaria.
He assisted his family in restoring the Butler House which had been in the family since his great grandfather Roderick Random Butler had it built for his family during the Civil War era. As a result of the restoration process the house is now placed on the State and Federal Registers of Historic Places.
Mr. Butler was also active in Butler Florist, a family business that flourished from the 1950’s through the early 1980’s.
Mr. Butler is survived by numerous cousins and friends and special caregiver, Lucille Teague.
A memorial service will be held in the First United Methodist Church on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that gifts be made to the First United Methodist Memorial Fund.
Online condolences may be sent and viewed through our website at
Hux-Lipford Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.