Topsfield — Lester A. "Les" Butt, 96, recently of Topsfield and longtime resident of Revere, died on January 12, 2013, following a stroke. He was the beloved husband of Genevieve "Gen" Ash Butt, who died on August 10, 2012.
Les' late parents, Bertha Thistle Butt and Moses Butt, were born in Newfoundland. As young adults they moved to the United States and settled in the Chelsea/Revere area. Les and Gen knew each other their entire lives and were friends during childhood. Their friendship turned to love, and while Les was in the Army during World War II, they married on March 7, 1942, at Revere Methodist Church. That love and marriage lasted for more than seventy years.
In February 1941, Les enlisted in the U.S. Army and proudly served his country until July 1945. He was seriously injured during his military duties and was an honorably discharged disabled veteran. The city of Revere recognized his enlistment by presenting Les with a special ring. Les was a member of the American Legion, Revere, Post No. 61, and a graduate of Revere High School.
After his military service Les worked for Happy Home Bakery, then changed careers and entered the banking field, working at Chelsea Savings Bank, Chelsea, and continuing his education with courses in the banking field. His final career was with the United States Postal Service, working at the Revere, South Boston and Charlestown Post Offices and on the mail train from Boston to New York, his favorite job.
For sixty years, Les and Gen happily resided together in Revere in a home built for them at 234 Vane Street by Les’ brother-in-law, Chet Reynolds. They had wonderful neighbors who became lifelong friends. Retirement gave Les time to tend to his gardening and he had a spectacular flower garden in Revere. He thoroughly enjoyed caring for his flowers, grapevines, vegetables and trees, of which he planted many. Starting at age ninety-three he entered his vegetables in competition at the Topsfield Fair where he won many ribbons. September 2012, at age 96, he won seven ribbons for his vegetables and was looking forward to his 2013 garden, planning this time to plant mostly flowers in his wife's memory.
Les and Gen enjoyed traveling during their marriage, and after retirement they traveled extensively, enjoying each other's company and the people they met during their travels. Les was a self taught organist and had his own organ, a gift from Gen on his 50th birthday. He loved playing and singing for Gen and was the Musician at several fraternal lodges. He was also an accomplished wood carver.
Les was a member of numerous lodges and fraternal organizations: Bethesda Lodge #30, Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Braintree, Past Noble Grand; Veteran Odd Fellows Association of Massachusetts; Aleppo Temple, Legion of Honor Unit, Wilmington; Seaview Lodge, A.F. & A.M., Revere; Star of Bethlehem Lodge A.F. & A.M., Wakefield; Mount Tabor A.F. & A.M., Wakefield; Golden Rule Lodge A.F. & A.M., Wakefield; The Royal Arch Chapter of the Tabernacle, Malden; United Commandery No. 21 Knights Templar, Norwood; St. Paul's Royal Arch Chapter, Masonic Temple, Boston; Neponset Valley Royal Arch Chapter, Norwood; St. Matthews Royal Arch Chapter, Dorchester; The North Shore Shrine Club; ASOP Sanctorum #134, Milford; Beauseant-Palestine Commandery No. 10 Knights Templar, Malden; and Shriners International. Faith was a large part of Les and Gen's life. They were brought as infants by their parents by open air trolley car from Revere to Hamilton for Asbury Grove Methodist Camp Meeting Services and attended Sunday services and activities at Asbury Grove through the years. Les was a member of Revere Methodist Church, Good Shepherd Methodist Church in Malden and Hamilton Methodist Church.
Les is survived by his daughter, Diana Butt Campbell and his son-in-law, James Campbell of Topsfield; son, Jon Butt of Atlanta, Ga.; grandchildren, James, Lisa and Alan Campbell, Pamela Helling, Jon and Ricci Butt; great-grandchildren, Tyler, Ethan and Dylan Campbell, Michelle and Ian Tomlinson, Rachel Beck, Brenden Overseth, Morgan and Jaxon Butt and Jonathan Murphy; sister, Dorothy Butt Ash of Texas; brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Phyllis Russell Britt of California; sisters-in-law, Eleanor Butt of Revere and Rachel Butt of Alabama and many adored nieces, nephews and cousins and the Appel and Fisher families. He was predeceased by three brothers, George Butt, Herbert Butt and John Butt; brothers-in-law, George “Carl” Ash, N. Chester Reynolds and Donald Aiesi; and sisters-in-law, Florence “Tot” Ash Reynolds, Viola Ash Aiesi, Winona Ash and Cora Butt.
Les' journey on earth is over, but he will remain in the hearts of those who love him. Family and friends are comforted by the knowledge that Les and Gen are together forever with God. Les' family is thankful for the compassionate care Les received at Lahey Clinic.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service will be held on February 23, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Hamilton Methodist Church, 391 Bay Road (Rt 1A), Hamilton. A reception at the Church will immediately follow the service. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Arrangements are by the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich. In lieu of flowers, donations in Les' memory may be sent to the Home For Little Wanderers, Big Wishes Program, Development Department, 271 Huntington Avenue, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02115 or to the Asbury Grove E. Stanley Jones Chapel, 1 Pleasant Avenue, Hamilton, MA 01982. To send a condolence to his family, please visit www.whittier-porter.com.