John Thomas Butler Obituary

John Thomas “Tom” Butler, 88, of St. Joseph, passed away on Saturday, July 10, 2021, at his home. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 12 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church, 613 Court St., St. Joseph, with Pastor Michael Roth officiating. Friends may visit with the family one hour prior to the service. A private burial will be held at Riverview Cemetery.

Tom was born on April 15, 1933, in Benton Harbor on Lake Michigan to Atty. Clarence & Esther (Gustine) Butler. He graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1951 and went on to Hillsdale College where he graduated with a degree in Human Relations in 1955. He was active in track & tennis and a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. Here he met Barbara Lyndall and after dating for 2 ½ years, he proposed just before being sent to Germany with the U.S. Army after being drafted. Tom and Barb were in Germany for well over a year before coming back and settling in St. Joseph, MI where he went to work with his father building residential subdivisions and selling them on Land Contract. He owned Butler Real Estate Investments, too.

In 1975, after serving as the President of the Twin City Tennis Association, Tom formed a group of 7 co-owners to build the South Shore Racquet Club. Years later after selling his share of the club, and not wanting to retire, he got his Contractor’s license and remodeled homes and offices in the area until age 81 under the business, Butler Remodeling.

Tom was very proud of his community and was actively engaged in many organizations, holding positions such as President and District Governor of the Exchange Club, later becoming a member of Rotary.

His positive attitude and his smile was always an inspiration to everyone he came in contact with. Tom was an avid reader of the bible and fiction. He enjoyed solving remodeling projects. But what Tom most loved in life was his family and many friends. He will truly be missed by many!

Tom is survived by his loving wife Barb of nearly 65 years, children, Deborah Warren of Wheat Ridge, CO, David (Julie) Butler of Parker, CO and Brent (Kristin) Butler of Kalamazoo, MI; grandchildren, Ali (Christopher) Highland, Logan (Kaili) Warren, Dan Butler, Laura (John) Naglak, Jeff (Erin) Butler, Grant Butler, and Graham Butler; great-grandsons, Cameron, Silas, Daniel, and Levin. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence & Esther; and grandson, Andrew Warren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church or Caring Circle Hospice, 4025 Health Park Lane, St. Joseph. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at