Remembering Michael R. Butler, 1935-2023

Family and friends are remembering Michael R. Butler and sharing this with the community:

Michael Richard Butler of Seattle died on Wednesday, May 10, 2023. He was born on August 19, 1935, and lived to be 87 years old. He was the youngest child of Mayo Philbrick Butler and Jeannette Florence (Hainsworth) Butler.

He is survived by his wife Betty M. (Kidder) Butler and three sons, Michael P. Butler (Puyallup), Todd K. Butler (Ketchikan, Alaska), and Brett H. Butler (West Seattle). Mike was the grandfather of Natasha M. (Butler) Whipple, Jason R. Butler, Melissa B. Butler, and Tanner K. Butler. He was the great-grandfather to seven great-grandchildren.

After graduating from West Seattle High School in 1953, he attended the University of Washington, where he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. He graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. After graduation he served six months active duty in the Army and 9½ years in the Army Reserve. He was honorably discharged in 1968 as a Captain in the Army Corps of Engineers. After active duty, he began working for the family business, Butler Construction & Engineering Company. They built many highways, bridges, and buildings in the Pacific Northwest.

He was a lifelong member of the Seattle Yacht Club. He joined in 1954 as a junior member to participate in the yacht club’s junior sailboat racing program. Soon after, in 1955, Mike’s father also joined and had the family cruiser “Paramour” built. One of Mike’s greatest pleasures was cruising in the Paramour throughout Southeast Alaska and the British Columbia coast with family and friends.

He enjoyed learning family history and was always involved in a history project. His family were early residents of West Seattle, in the Admiral district, and helped develop the area. He assisted his niece Barbara Pope with stories and photos when she wrote “A History of Butler Construction Company, 1908-1992.” He was a member of the Southwest Historical Society and the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum and contributed some early family photos to the history book of West Seattle, “West Side Story.”

Remembrances can be sent to Southwest Seattle Historical Society or the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

1 Reply to "Remembering Michael R. Butler, 1935-2023"

  • Stacy Fann June 5, 2023 (2:41 pm)

    We are hearbroken for you all!  Betty — we love you! Mike, Todd and Brett, our deepest condolences.   We were neighbors with the Butlers for a while and we had so much fun together. Mike was always so warm and welcoming.  Please know we are thinking about you.  Love, Stacy Fann (nee Williams) and Noelle (Williams-Weinbel).  

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