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Joseph "Joe" Earl Butler
November 14, 1954 ~ July 1, 2023 (age 68) 68 Years Old
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Joseph Earl Butler, 68, entered the gates of Heaven surrounded by his family on July 1st at his home. Our lives were forever changed following his accident in 2014, however we were blessed to enjoy nine more years with the greatest man we have ever known.
Joe was born November 14, 1954, in Clinton, NC, to Earl Geddie and Loraine Vail Butler. In 1975, Joe married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Latimer Butler. After graduating from Clinton High School, Joe attended NC State University and obtained a degree in Agriculture. He returned to the family farm to grow tobacco, cotton, corn, and soybeans. He later expanded his farming operation and became a hog grower for Smithfield Foods. As much as he loved farming, he loved being “Daddy” and “Joe Joe” more. He instilled his passion for agriculture into Matt, his patience and gentleness into Ashley, and his dry wit and love for the Wolfpack into Katie. His favorite places to be were on a tractor, at the kids’ ball games, in his recliner watching college sports or Westerns, or in the North Carolina mountains. He could arguably grill the best steak, but he would probably ask you at least 10 times how it tasted. His grandsons were the light of his life. He loved watching their ball games, playing catch, attending their special events and laughing at their shenanigans. He was also a friend to many. Joe had a big heart and enjoyed sharing corn and butter beans from his garden each summer. It was hard not to smile when you heard the name “Joe Butler” around town. His laugh was contagious and his devotion to his family was unmatched. He radiated joy and to know him truly was to love him.
Joe was married to Nancy for 48 years. Nancy’s devotion to Joe never wavered and their love for one another was unrivaled. In addition to his wife, Joe is survived by his three children: Matt Butler; Ashley Butler Montgomery and husband Robbie; Katie Butler Starling and husband Eric; five grandsons: Lake, Drew and Gray Montgomery and Rivers and Rhett Starling (all of Clinton.) Other survivors include his mother, Loraine Butler of Newton Grove; brother, Ben Butler and wife Jane of Raleigh; sister, Katherine Barkin and husband Dan of Clayton; many sisters/brothers in law, nieces and nephews. The family is grateful for two special friends, Shirley Mae Butler and Ernest Caldwell, who have become extended family throughout the years.
Though we mourn his physical presence, we celebrate knowing that he is finally healed. On Wednesday, July 5th, visitation will begin at 12:30pm followed by a celebration of life at 2:00pm at First Baptist Church, 408 College Street in Clinton with Dr. Ray Ammons officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Tim’s Gift and First Baptist Church.