Paul Albert Butler, the father of 14 children, died Friday, April 22, 2005, in Chinook. He was 86.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Chinook Presbyterian Church. A graveside service will immediately follow at the Kuper Memorial Cemetery. After the burial, there will be a reception at the church.
Paul was born Nov. 30, 1918, in Birch Tree, Mo., to Thomas and Josephine Butler. He was one of 12 children and also had a half-sister from his father's second marriage.
In 1938, Paul moved to Chinook and began his career with the U and I Sugar Co. Paul met and fell in love with Katherine MacArthur, and they were married June 22, 1941.
The couple moved to Spokane, Wash., where Paul briefly worked as an airplane mechanic at Geiger Field. Shortly thereafter, they returned to Chinook.
During one summer trip, the family went through Glacier National Park. When they stopped at the entrance gate, the ranger looked in the station wagon and commented on the size of the family. Paul said it wasn't that large - he had come from a family of 12 - and proceeded to drive away.
When the sugar factory in Chinook closed, the family moved to Moses Lake, Wash., and later to Idaho Falls, Idaho.
When word got out that the Butler family with seven children was moving to the already overcrowded town of Moses Lake, the school principal reportedly threw up his hands and said, "Oh no, not in my school."
During his career with U and I, Paul was president of a local union group and vice president of the International Sugar Worker Union. When Paul retired in 1987, he was superintendent of the Idaho Falls factory. After retiring, Paul and Katherine moved back to Chinook.
Paul was a youth baseball coach and umpire, and enjoyed woodworking and playing poker. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles for 65 years and was recognized as being the longest-serving member in the state of Montana.
In 1996, Paul was named "Chinook Senior of the Year."
He and Katherine also volunteered at the senior center and loved spending time with their grandchildren. The couple were together for 60 years until Katherine's death in 2001.
Paul was also proceeded in death by a son, Douglas Paul; a daughter, Paula Jean; and a great-granddaughter, Kylie Reese Butler.
He is survived by sons, Donald (Kristine) Butler of Bellingham, Wash., Richard (Debera) Butler of Eagle, Idaho, Robert Butler of Bainbridge Island, Wash., William Butler of Seattle, James (Dee) Butler of Shannon, Ireland, and Thomas Butler of Seattle; daughters, Peggy (Doug) Albright of Spokane, Wash., Linda Depner of Kirkland, Wash.; Sheri Butler of Kirkland, Wash., Deborah (Alan) Collette of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Kelly Butler of Twin Falls, Idaho, Shelly (Tim) Bedsworth of Idaho Falls; 24 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Services are directed by Edwards Funeral Home in Chinook and officiated by the Rev. Phil Rogers of Boise, Idaho.