James L. Butler
James L. Butler
  • March 8, 1935 - January 18, 2018
  • Odessa, Texas

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James (Jim) Butler of Odessa, Texas went home to the Lord on January 18, 2018. Jim was born in Sweetwater, Texas on March 8, 1935. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Cle Butler and two children, Cathy Kirby (Ron) and Scott Butler (Lory). He is also survived by four beautiful grandchildren Amanda Alford (Jeremy), Raechel Sharp (Jared), Tyler Butler (Alicia) and Courtnee Butler. Jim was a loving great-grandfather to two great-grandchildren. Jim is also survived by his brother Carrol Butler of Cambria, CA. Jim joins in heaven his parents, George and Bessie Butler and his beautiful grandson, Matt Kirby.

Jim was raised in Sweetwater, Texas where he was a star running-back for the Sweetwater Mustangs. Jim continues to hold a state record from the West Texas Relays for the sprint medley relay. He married his high school sweetheart, Cle, in June of 1954. Jim graduated from Arlington State College (University of Texas at Arlington) with a degree in accounting. He received his CPA certificate and began his career in public accounting. Jim went on to work in private accounting positions until moving his family to Odessa, Texas in 1976 to go to work with Perry Gas Co. as the Senior VP of Finance. Jim always said that moving to Odessa was the best decision. Jim went on to work at several local banks before joining his son in law in the CPA practice, Butler, Kirby & Co. Jim ended his professional career with a ten year stint as Executive Director at Odessa Housing Finance Corp. at the age of 75.

While Jim had a very successful professional career, it was never as important to him as faith, family and community. Jim was a long time member of First Baptist Church Odessa serving on many steering committees, building committees as well as serving as a deacon. However, Jim always felt his most important leadership role at First Baptist was that of a pre-school Sunday school teacher where he taught for over 30 years.

Jim led his family in a similar way, with a deep faith. While his work ethic was epic, he always made time for vacations, special events and family gatherings. Education was always important to Jim and he made sure that both his children had the opportunity to better themselves. One of the great joys in Jim's life was spending time with his grandchildren. Later in his life, one of the things he enjoyed the most was his morning coffee group of friends at Chick-Fil-A.

While a success professionally, Jim always felt that much of his success came from the wonderful Odessa community. He always felt a strong yearning to give back and serve this community. Jim served on many boards throughout his life including President of Boys and Girls Club of Odessa, President of Meals on Wheels, President of United Way, President of the Greater Odessa Rotary Club and Chairman of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. Jim also served as President of the Odessa Country Club and was instrumental in the leadership for the building of the new clubhouse. Jim was inducted into the Odessa Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame in 2002 and was the recipient of the Heritage Foundation of Odessa Award for Community Service.

Jim was a pillar to his family, his church and his community. His legacy, strong character and love will live on for many generations. James, Jim, Dad, Granddad, we will miss you and we love you but we all know that we will be together one day.

Visitation is scheduled for Sunday, January 21, 2018 from 5:30 to 7:30 at Frank Wilson Funeral Home at 4635 Oakwood Dr. Funeral services are scheduled at First Baptist Church Odessa on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 11:00AM.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Mission Denton, P.O Box 52362, Denton, Texas 76206, www.missiondenton.org, where Jim's granddaughter Raechel Sharp serves as Field Director.