Robert's Story

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Mr. Robert Charles Butler, a native of Cooperstown, passed away peacefully early Sunday morning, Jan. 30, 2011, at his home on Reiss Road in Pierstown. He was 80.
Born Dec. 17, 1930, at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, Bob was one of twin sons of Gladys (Sargent)  Butler and Lynn E. Butler Jr.Raised in Cooperstown, he played on the Cooperstown High School football team and graduated with the Class of 1949. He then attended Mohawk Valley Community College and graduated from there with an associate’s degree in accounting. On Oct. 29, 1950, Bob married the former Joan Robinson in a ceremony at Christ Church in Cooperstown.
Bob’s attention to detail and honesty made him particularly suited to the field of accounting. After college, he was first employed by Charles Wick, a job which later evolved into a position with Berry Motors.
In the 1960s, he went to work for Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital and became their chief accountant. Bob’s talents in accounting were recognized by John Burkly of New York City who encouraged Bob to join the staff at NYSHA.
In August 1982, Bob became the Controller, or Chief Accounting Officer, for NYSHA and The Farmers’ Museum, a job he held until he retired in 1992, having earned the respect of many in that organization for his skill and expertise.
In his private life, Bob was no less fastidious about matters, and his attention to detail in whatever he did will long be remembered. A master craftsman, Bob built his family’s home in Hyde Park and through the years crafted many fine pieces of furniture.
In 1989, Bob and Joan moved to Pierstown where Bob continuously added various features to their home and property, which they named “Fox Run.”
Whether it was the many stonewalls he created, or the many other items he created in and around their home, everything he did was done right.
Raised in the Episcopal faith, Bob was a member of Christ Church in Cooperstown where at one time he taught Sunday School.
A community minded person, he taught 4-H, coached Cooperstown Little League, helped with the Cub Scouts, volunteered at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital and served as president of Hartwick Volunteer Fire Department No. 2 in Hartwick Seminary. At one time Bob served his country in the National Guard.
Bob’s interests were varied, as evidenced by his having played baseball for a time with The Indians, a baseball team in Cooperstown, as well as occasionally playing golf. He was also a musician and for a time played clarinet and saxophone with The Moonbeams, a local orchestra.
A devoted Freemason, Bob was Raised to the Degree of Master Mason in Otsego Lodge No. 138, Free and Accepted Masons in Cooperstown on the 19th day of May, A.D. 1964, A.L. 5964. In 1970, he served the Lodge as Worshipful Master and served again as such in 1976.
Bob’s Masonic memberships also included those in the York and Scottish Rite concordant bodies. In the York Rite, he was a Companion of Otsego Chapter No. 26, Royal Arch Masons in Cooperstown, Oneonta Council No. 87, Cryptic Masons and Otsego Commandery No. 76, Knights Templar in Cooperstown. He received work in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States in the Valley of Utica on Oct. 20th, 1995, and was a member of the Lodge Council Chapter Consistory Scottish Rite Bodies in the Valley of Utica.
A Shriner, he was a member of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Ziyara Temple in Utica and the Valley Shrine Club.
Bob is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joan of Pierstown; their son, Robert J. Butler of Cooperstown; one brother, David G. Butler and his wife, Paula of Newark, Del.; one brother-in-law, Gordon A. Robinson and his wife, Barbara of Fly Creek; one sisterin- law, Dorothy Eckler and her husband, Walter of Cooperstown; and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his twin brother, Richard Lynn Butler, who died just this past year on Oct. 11, 2010.
The Office of the Burial of the Dead will be offered at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, in St. Agnes Chapel at Christ Church, Cooperstown, with the Rev’d. Mark A. Michael, rector, officiating.
The Episcopal Service of Committal and Burial and the Masonic Funeral Service will take place later this spring in Lakewood Cemetery in Cooperstown.
Friends may call at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon, Feb. 6, 2011, when Bob’s family will be in attendance.
As an alternative to flowers, the family suggests that memorial gifts be made to Friends of Bassett, 1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326 or Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820 or Cooperstown Emergency Squad, P.O. Box 322, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
Published on  February 3, 2011
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