Mr. James O. Butts, age 88, of Fulton, Ky passed
away on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at The
Jackson Purchase Medical Center in Mayfield.
James was born in St. Louis, Missouri on January
1, 1934, to the late Talmadge D. Butts and Emma
Browne Butts. At an early age, the family moved
to this area, and he attended school at Chestnut
Glade and then Fulton City Schools.
James was a faithful member of Smith Street Church
of Christ, serving as deacon, elder, and bible class teacher.
His love for God was evident as he opened his bible classes
with the reciting of the 23rd Psalm. He loved mission work
and went on over twenty-five missionary campaigns.
James served on the Board of Trustees at Freed-Hardeman
University for 50 years.
He faithfully served his country in the United States Air Force
during the Korean Conflict. After his time in the service,
he met and married Patsy Jean Killebrew on May 20, 1956.
James promised Patsy they would travel, and he kept that
promise. They have been to every state in the Union and
numerous foreign countries. He instilled his wanderlust in his
two daughters, Kathy, and Jamie as they traveled throughout
their childhood and adult years.
James began work for Mr. Harvey Caldwell at Office Outfitters,
Inc. in January 1956. James and Patsy bought the business in
1965. When asked about himself, James would most often reply,
“I’m just a paperclip salesman from Chestnut Glade.” James sold
paperclips all over West TN and West KY for 25 years and then
was appointed Assistant Treasurer for the Commonwealth of Ky
and later Assistant Secretary of State, serving both offices under
the late Frances Jones Mills.
Following his service in State Government he returned to Fulton and
began a career with the former Fulton Bank. He served on the Board
of Directors and was President, retiring in 2001.
James valued faith, family, and education. Always looking for opportunities
to serve his community, James served on multiple boards and
community organizations on both local and state levels. James served
on the Board of Regents of Murray State University, James had a true
passion for Education, advocating tirelessly for Student Athletes. Football
was his favorite sport, and James treasured the development of a special
friendship with Houston Nutt. As Houston’s coaching career advanced,
James considered himself honored to have been on the sidelines at Murray
State University, The University of Arkansas, and The University of Mississippi.
James Butts, affectionately known to his family as Daddy and Granddaddy,
instilled in each member of his family how to live life with integrity. Serving
and valuing everyone was a paramount lesson he passed on to his children,
grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was their true North Star.
James is survived by his wife of 66 years, Patsy Killibrew Butts. Two
daughters, Katherine Butts Waycaster (David) and Jamie Butts Hicks
(Mike). Four grandsons, Michael Waycaster (Lauren), Blake Waycaster,
Adam Hicks (Samantha) and Conner Hicks. Six great grandchildren,
Ezekiel Waycaster, Olivia Waycaster, Berkley Hicks, Dawson Hicks,
Sloane Hicks, and Raden Woodruff. He is also survived by several nieces
Preceding James in death were his parents and two sisters, Virginia Austin,
and Vivian Wolberton, one nephew, David Austin and one niece, Susan Wheeler.
Services will be Monday September 19 at the Hornbeak Funeral Chapel at
1:00 pm. Visitation will be from 11:00 until the time of the service. Burial will
be at Pleasant View Memorial Gardens.
To honor the memory of James O. Butts the family requests memorials to:
Smith Street Church of Christ 411 Smith Street South Fulton, TN 38257
Murray Racer Football Alumni Association, P.O. Box 83 Murray, KY
42071 (Murray State University), Freed Hardeman University Athletics,
158 E Main Street, Henderson, TN 38340.