BRUNSWICK — Edward Eric Butler, 90, died Monday at his home on Casco Bay in Brunswick, surrounded by his three children and his faithful dog, Caddy.
He was born Aug. 18, 1922, in Cambridge, Mass., to James Percival Butler and Katherine Elinor O’Donnell Butler. Following his graduation from Kimball Union Academy, he entered the U.S. Army and served his country throughout World War II in three theaters of operations. In the midst of the war, he was reunited with his brother for a few hours on the shores of Guadalcanal as their respective units briefly crossed paths.
Butler left the Army when the war ended and immediately enrolled at Bowdoin College. He met his beloved wife, Mary Elizabeth Johnson Butler, on the steps of his fraternity, Psi Upsilon. They married in June 1947 at Mary’s family home in Topsham, and began their married life at the Bowdoin Apartments while Butler was still a student.
After graduating from Bowdoin in 1949, Butler started his career at the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company. He went on to positions of increasing seniority over the years, including roles with DuPont. He and his wife lived in Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, Michigan and their beloved Mere Point.
Butler relocated to Massachusetts to work for the New England Telephone Company and then the First National Bank of Boston. He spent most of his career with the bank, while he and his family lived in South Natick and Marblehead, Mass.
Throughout his career, Butler was known for his love of people. He enjoyed helping good employees get into good jobs where they could thrive. Every year, his mailbox was filled with holiday cards from people keeping in touch and thanking him for his help.
In 1986, Butler and his wife retired to Brunswick, where he pursued his love of sailing and German short-haired pointers. He was devoted to his family, St. Paul’s Church, Bowdoin College, Mere Point, and his many friends from the Bowdoin track and field community. He used to spend many hours browsing through boatyards along the Maine coast.
Butler’s life was marked by an unfailingly happy and grateful attitude; his daily greetings were positive and hopeful expressions. When asked how he was, he invariably would answer, “Every day is a day of grace.”
Butler was deeply saddened by the death of his wife, Mary, in October 2012, after 65 years of marriage. He also was predeceased by his brother, James Percival Butler.
He is survived by three children, Katherine, Elizabeth and Edward Eric “Jay” Butler Jr.; his beloved grandson, Benjamin Allen Butler; and six nieces and nephews, James P. Butler, Dorothy Butler Burns, Arthur B. Johnson, Elizabeth Johnson Kellenberger, Lewis C. Johnson and Paul T. Johnson.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church in Brunswick. Visiting hours will be held Friday from 2-4 p.m. at Stetson’s Funeral Home, 12 Federal St., Brunswick. Burial in Riverview Cemetery, in Topsham, will be held later this spring.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Coastal Humane Society, 30 Range Road, Brunswick, ME 04011.