Cover photo for Patricia Marie Butler's Obituary
Patricia Marie Butler Profile Photo
1932 Patricia 2022

Patricia Marie Butler

March 26, 1932 — February 12, 2022

Patricia Marie Ford was born on a chilly Saturday on March 26, 1932, in Chicago, IL the second child of Agnes Irene and Willam Calvin Ford. In a house full of loving family members, she was known as Patsy Mae or Sugarplum and eventually everyone settled on Pat. Growing up in Chicago, her early years were spent in a large family home with her parents, older sister Ann Therese, maternal grandmother Anna ("Ma"), cousin Peggy and numerous aunts and uncles. She and her family later moved to an apartment where life was a little less hectic and closer to her parent's jobs. Childhood friends Renee and Arlyne from those apartment days became lifelong friends. Pat enjoyed playing with the neighborhood kids, her beloved dog Snowball, ice skating and piano lessons. With a large extended family, there was always something to celebrate. Pat and her sister attended high school at Loretto Academy, a Catholic school for girls, commuting via the "El" elevated train. She sang alto in the school glee club and graduated in 1950. She began working as a secretary for American Express and a year or two later she moved to warmer climes with her parents, who decided to follow other family members to beautiful Miami, Florida. Not long after the big move, Pat attended a CYO dance at her church and met Harry James Butler, an Air Force service member who had been told he could meet "nice girls" at the CYO. It didn't hurt that he had a 1938 cream colored Chevrolet with a rumble seat that seated six young people. They enjoyed fun days at the beach, sightseeing, dating and soon romance blossomed and they went steady shortly after meeting. It should be noted that Harry told her on their first date that he was going to marry her! Harry proposed marriage and had to show his bank passbook to Pat's father to prove he could support her financially - there was some concern about finances because he often ate at their home, especially at the end of each month - her father thought he didn't earn enough but when Harry showed him half of each paycheck went straight to his savings account, the path was clear for a wedding in August 1953. Sadly, Pat's father died very unexpectedly on August 15th right before their wedding. They postponed the ceremony, no small feat considering all that is involved in wedding planning, and married on September 19th, 1953. Harry was transferred to Charleston AFB, South Carolina - being a brand-new base, there was no base housing and service men scrambled to find places to live. Pat and Harry bought an Air Stream mobile home and they moved to a huge "trailer village" where they came to know other Air Force couples as family. When their first baby Cynthia Ann was born in November 1954 it was cause for celebration. Pat said, "We were one big family; you have to remember we didn't have immediate family around us at each military station, so we took care of each other." They traded their trailer for a larger one with two bedrooms and moved to Ardmore, Oklahoma and later to Murfreesboro, Tennessee on subsequent assignments. They finally sold their trailer when the Air Force moved them to Okinawa in 1960. It was there that their second child Patrick Michael was born in October 1961. Following that assignment, they returned to Charleston Air Force Base then moved to Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. Pat enjoyed several hobbies during those years, sewing for herself and her daughter, crocheting (gifting many with beautiful doilies) and ceramics. In 1968 Harry retired from the Air Force and the family finally moved back to Miami, Florida. Pat was very active as a volunteer at St. James Catholic Church in North Miami and later took a job as secretary in the Admissions office of Barry College. They moved to their last home in Lauderdale West in 2001 and were thrilled when Pat's sister Ann Therese and her husband Tom Karva moved down the street from them. They made many friends during their Air Force years, maintaining several throughout their lives. Following Harry's retirement from the Air Force and then later from the FAA where he worked as a civilian, they maintained old friendships by attending annual reunions of the AF Flamingo Wing, the 97th Aerial Port Squadron and the FAA Retired Group. Pat attended social functions with Harry in his activities with the American Legion and DAV Chapter 138. Pat was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 63 years Harry Butler, and her sister Ann Therese Karva. Pat is survived by her daughter Cynthia (and husband Ronald Duquette), son Patrick (and wife Lyda Castro) and three grandchildren - Ashley Nicole Butler, Robert Brendan Duquette and Adrianna Warren. She leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Her family will receive friends on Friday February 25, 2022 from 5:00 – 7:00PM at the funeral home. VISITATION LIVE STREAM LINK click to refresh starting at 5:00 PM ALTERNATE LINK Mass of the Resurrection will take place Saturday February 26th at 9:30AM at Saint Gregory’s Catholic Church located at 200 N University Dr, Plantation, FL 33324. Inurnment will take place at the South Florida National Cemetery, located at 6501 FL-7, Lake Worth, FL 33449 at a future date.
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