Timothy J Butler Memorial Fund
Organized by: Tara Canada
The Bench is done and will be on it's way to Lansing, NY in the upcoming week. However, it is most likely not going to be put on site until the spring of 2017 now.
November 06, 2016
Thank you everyone!. More than enough funds were raised to get the bench we think is most like Tim, if he were ever still that is. I am working on uploading a photo for you all that you may or may not have seen on FaceBook already but it isn't lettiing me post the pciture the way I wanted it to. Work in progress.
As we mentioned previously, any funds beyond what was needed to cover the cost of the bench and anything related to it would be sent to Little Pink Houses of Hope as that was the charity that was the nearest and dearest to his heart. So, I am happy to say a total of $3,000 was submited to Little Pink the other day! Thank you all so much!
I know some of you dontated directly to Littlepink.org on Tim's behalf, and some of you mailed checks or gave me cash towards the fundraiser too. I again thank you all so much.
Unfortunately, since it is now November, the bench will not be able to be placed on site until the spring as they cannot pour concrete this time of year in upstate NY. Therefore it will be placed in their town barns near the park until the weather stabilizes in the spring of 2017. It will be placed on site at that time.
So, please know that your generosity honors Tim and his family very much, and it humbles us to think of all the lives he has touched and made a difference for.
God Bless you all, and thank you again from myself and my daughter's and son-in-laws and grandchildren and all the rest of Tim and I's families.
Rayne P. Butler
LANSING – Timothy Butler watched his sister in the water of Cayuga Lake 20 yards away in high waves and strong winds. She couldn’t get back to the boat, and the wind kept blowing the life preserver away as it was tossed.
He dove in, swam to her with the preserver attached to a line, got her to grab on, then had his wife and brother-in-law haul her in. But he couldn’t get back.
Butler, 58, of South Hill Road, McGraw, drowned Saturday afternoon in Cayuga lake near Myers Park, police said. His body was pulled from the water Sunday night.
Butler had been boating with family when winds kicked up and separated the boat from his older sister, Cynthia McDonald of Whitney Point, said Tompkins County sheriff’s deputies and Butler’s wife, Rayne. “She was getting weaker and felt like she was going to drown,” Rayne Butler said this morning. “The wind was tossing us all over the place.”
Rayne Butler and her brother-in-law, Paul McDonald, had problems re-starting the boat, she said, and Tim Butler had difficulty getting back to it as it drifted. By the time they got the engine started and turned to him, minutes had passed. Too many.
“We got up to him just as he went under,” Rayne Butler said. “He was 8 feet away.”
Deputies and firefighters from the Ithaca and Lansing departments responded with rescue boats, but could not find him, police said. A state police and fire department dive teams were called later. They searched until 3 a.m. Sunday, using sonar, with no luck, then resumed the search in the morning. State police divers found his body at 11:31 p.m. in 63 feet of water near Myers Park.
Also responding: Romulus, Union Springs and Trumansburg fire departments, Cayuga County and Auburn Fire Department marine units, Onondaga County and Pine City Fire Department dive teams.
In retrospect, Rayne Butler sees his errors: “He should have grabbed a life jacket on his way,” she said. “Or he should have stayed with his sister. But that was my husband; he thought he was invincible.”
The Butlers knew each other briefly at Maine-Endwell High School – he was the bratty underclassman whose rowdiness cost the entire high school privileges, she said. But they met again working together a few years later.
“I only saw him a few times and he asked me to marry him,” Butler said. “He was funny.”
They married in 1979 and had two daughters, Jordan and Tara. They followed a succession of jobs in Broome County, then moved to Groton and later McGraw, where he worked for Rubbermaid, Borg Warner and ALPLA on Central Avenue in Cortland.
“The people who worked for him loved him,” his wife said. “He was honest and didn’t play favorites.”
In his spare time – what there was for a constantly busy man – Butler taught hunter education classes, was a bow hunter himself. And he was teaching himself guitar, drums and piano. “Rock ‘n’ roll,” Rayne Butler said. “We grew up in the '70s.”
Butler is survived by his wife, Rayne; daugher and son-in-law Jordan Butler and Ben Perkins of McGraw; daughter and son-in-law Tara and Christopher Canada of Virginia; and other siblings, nieces and nephews.
Services are pending from Riccardi Funeral Home of Cortland and Maine Federated Church in the Town of Maine.
“He always put himself last,” Rayne Butler said. “He wasn’t perfect – he was amazing.”
Reprinted courtesy of the Cortland Standard