A funeral service is scheduled for 2 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, at First Presbyterian Church in Dexter, for Clifford Butts, 91, who passed away Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Dexter. Rev. Stephen Deutsch of First Presbyterian Church will be officiating. Burial will follow at Hagerman Cemetery with the Roswell Veterans Honor Guard conducting Military graveside services.
Serving as pallbearers are Armilo Montoya, Sammy Price, Benny Coats, Robbie Drake, Donald Bogle and Marvin Bramlett. Honorary pallbearers are John Weir, Dobber Coats, Sam Coats, Reyes Pineda, Curt Phillips, Glenn Marshall, Frances Scott, Charlie Stone and a few good friends: Bill Caldwell, Bud Wortman, Ben Kerr, Donald Kuykendall, Dwight Sharp, Nick Clemenza, Kristi Bogle, Sandy Babers, Anita Johnson and Caroline Samuels.
Clifford was a decorated veteran of World War II serving in United States Army. He returned to Dexter and was a carpenter by trade. He was a charter member of the Dexter volunteer fire department, a member of Valley Swingers Square-dance Club and a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Dexter.
There is no way to express into words the depth or meaning of your life…You touched so many people’s hearts and through your actions, you will live on. You came into the world when life was very different. It was rough, it was new, it was dirty, and it was true. You were raised into a man who knew his worth, stood his ground and loved with compassion that generations today only read about in books, see on TV or learn from being privileged to have someone like you in their lives. As you lived in the valley and grew up in the dirt, you turned into a strong gentleman, one with a heart full of love that belonged to one little lady, Mabel Bristow. The two of you fell in love and loved through obstacles and distances with grace. You were sent off for 36 months to WWII … You left everything you ever knew, heading to places you did not know, with the only certain fact that you are traveling around the world to face death for our country. Whether it be you own, the enemies, your friend or the man standing next to you; that was the only certainly you had. You fought, you survived and you were blessed to come home. The events, the endless nights and days, the fear, heartache and loneliness you endured are incomprehensible. We all owe you, and so many other brave men, everything. I breathe because you gave. There is no gratitude we can give that would be justifiable. You came home a hero, a soldier of humble pride, someone who really enjoyed a great laugh, that took the serious things in life slowly and the “b.s.” with stride. You built a beautiful life with your love and into the world came three children… Wayne, Scotty and Dayna, plus an honorary son, Robbie. You continued to build homes, churches, barns and bonds that last a lifetime and memories that hold your spirit alive far beyond. You can travel all over the valley and see your creations. Your friendships flourished and you continued to intertwine many of them in the valley as family, just as you had been raised. Even in your retirement you created and gave …you built crafts galore and grew the best of vegetables. You would deliver fresh veggies, homemade salsa and pecans to family and friends near and far. If you had, you made sure others did also. You were such a giving, light heated sincere fellow. Your handshake came with not a doubt, your word with honor. You were a quality man. A true rarity and a blessing. You lived with dignity, loved with certainty and gave without question. You and Memaw, a love of triumph and wonder…one that neither life nor death can hinder. Your love is still strong and lives on in all of us…we carry your legacy and will continue to pass it forward to future generations. You are all things a legend is made of. Pop, Clifford Butts, it has been the highest honor to be privileged with your life. July 14, 1922 – Dec. 5, 2013…you lived your dash well.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 71 ½ years, Mabel Irene Bristow Butts, of Dexter; his son, Clifford “Wayne” Butts, and wife, Kathie, of Roswell, their children: Shane Butts and family, of Ruidoso, daughters: Debbie Abney, of Oregon, Michelle Butts, of Ruidoso, Kristina Miller and family, of Redenedo, Calif., and Scott Miller of North Carolina; his son, Scotty Don Butts, and wife, Belinda, of Roswell, and their children: Jennifer Calzada and family, of Roswell, Shane Kennett and family, of Dallas, Texas, Jessica Brennen Dunn, of Roswell, and Carla Davis and family, of Temple, Texas; his daughter, Dayna Link, and husband, Glen, of Dexter, and their children: Chenet Link and husband, James, of Roswell, Skyler Link and wife, Charlene, and family, of Roswell, Clifton Link and wife, Courtney, and family of Dexter, and Bobby Bailey, of Pennsylvania; his son, Robbie Kelly, and wife, Nicki, and family, of Odessa, Texas; his brother, Norman “Babe” Butts, and wife, Aileen, of Dexter; brother-in-law, Don Hamilton, and wife, Ernestine “Teen,” of Clovis, and sister-in-law, Ella Gray Butts-Ross, of Manisa, Colo.; special niece Marva Sykes, of Roswell; 17 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren with one on the way and 10 great-great grandchildren.
Clifford preceded in death by his parents Otha Moten “O.M.” Butts, also known as Pappy and Eunice Dunn Butts, also known as Mamaw, Ruby “Nerine”Aston, Bryon D. Butts, Newell Preston Butts, Marvis Cliton Butts, little Bill Adams and grandson Todd Butts.
Memorial contributions may be made to the New Mexico Children Christian Home, PO Box 629, Portales, NM 88130.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome.com.