Feb. 14, 1939 — Oct. 15, 2019
QUEENSBURY — Harold James “Jim” Butler, 80, of Queensbury, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 following a hard-fought 2 1/2 year battle with heart and kidney failure.
Jim was born Feb. 14, 1939 in North Creek to Harold John Butler and Mary Frances Sheehan. He was a graduate of Johnsburg Central School, where his reputation on the basketball court as the “Michael Jordan of North Creek” was legendary. He received his Bachelor of Arts in business administration from the Pennsylvania Military College in Chester, and served honorably in the U.S. Army.
Jim was a natural athlete who excelled at everything he attempted. An expert skier, he retired from the slopes in his early 60s, wanting to “leave on top” with an over 20-year span without a fall. He was also an avid golfer and particularly enjoyed his Brant Lake crew at Cronin’s. A stubborn Irishman in every sense, he was extremely competitive and routinely dominated at ping pong, darts, pool, horseshoes and cards. His sense of humor delighted all who met him and his quick wit remarkable. He consistently finished the Sunday’s New York Times Crossword over coffee to compare later with his sister, Martha.
Throughout his successful insurance brokerage career, which included executive positions in Chicago and New York City, Jim always looked forward to his frequent visits to his beloved Adirondack mountains. He ultimately retired to Queensbury in December 1999, stating “my brain isn’t Y2K compliant.”
He was most proud of the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. All grandkids were particularly close with “Papa,” having spent many summers visiting with him and inheriting his love for Lake George and the Adirondacks.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Catherine Butler Stephens.
He is survived by his loving wife of 31 years, Ann Marie Butler; former wife and lifelong friend, Barbara (Dan) Bianco of Diamond Point; brother, Thomas “Buckshot” (Linda) Butler of North Creek; sister, Martha Butler of Queensbury; son, James (Terri) Butler of Denver, Colorado; daughter, Karen Butler of Scottsdale, Arizona; daughter, Colleen (Steve) Sutkay of Yorkville, Illinois; stepdaughter and grandson, Dawn Poff and Brett Teply of Queensbury; grandchildren, Kevin Butler, Tracy (Greg) Jungwirth and Steven, Matthew, Holly and Jillian Sutkay; fur pups, Benjie and Coco; and grandpups, Kiki, Kandie, Sky and Mo.
We would like to thank Dr.’s Joseph Mihindu and Peter Gray for their care and support, and Elaine, Diana and the ever-cheerful Amy for their warmth and professionalism these past few years. Special thanks to Lu and the other T6 nurses at Glens Falls Hospital who cared for him over various admissions.
He’s surely enjoying cocktails and a golf game in heaven with Ed Lunney, Frank Blake and Eddie Palmer, where he’s no doubt regaling them with his latest stable of inappropriate jokes, none of which can be repeated here.
In keeping with Jim’s wishes, there will be no calling hours and a military burial will be scheduled for family at a later time.
Arrangements are under the direction of Regan Denny Stafford Funeral Home, Queensbury.