James William Butler

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James William Butler

April 6, 1948 ~ June 3, 2023 (age 75)


James William “Bill” Butler, 75, passed away peacefully with his wife Laura by his side, on June 3, 2023, at his home in Burlington, NC. Bill was born on April 6, 1948 to Susan and Jimmy Butler in Durham, NC. He grew up in Durham and graduated from Durham High School in 1966. Bill attended East Carolina University after high school and went on to become a land surveyor. He later went to work for the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies, until he retired in 2010. Bill’s real passion was for music, as an accomplished keyboard player. He played in bands called “Heartwood” and “Mainstream” in the ‘70s and ‘80s and later started a professional dance band called “The Troupers” that  played venues across North and South Carolina for over the last 25 years..

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 15 years, Laura, his son, James, of Durham, his sister, Kitty Cobb, of Southern Pines and three step-children. He was the beloved “Papa Bill” to his 8 grandchildren. Bill could always brighten a room with his sense of humor and the latest (and not so latest) silly jokes. He will be forever remembered as the funny, witty man who was a faithful servant of God who showcased his gifts through  music. He also had a love for dogs, especially German Shorthair Pointers, who he spent many hours training and loving. On his days off, Bill could be found playing golf or working in his garden.

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  • July 01, 2023
    Malinda Tompkins says:
    Bill will always be with me in my heart. He is a very Special Person in my life, from playing a duet together at Alice Hundley’s 4th grade recital til living nearby in Pittsboro. I miss you Bill…All My Love, Linda🐴💕