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December 28 - December 30, 2017
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FORMER SBOANJ DIRECTOR BILL BUTLER SUCCUMBS - FUNERAL SET FOR JANUARY 3

MANALAPAN, NJ – December 27, 2014 – Wilmer T. “Bill” Butler, a longtime horseman and former Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey director, passed away on Saturday, December 27, 2014 at his home on the family farm in the Franklin Township community of Asbury, NJ.

Butler was 88.

“He had been in failing health of late but still his ebullient self,” said his daughter Bonnie Butler, mayor of Franklin Township.

Bill Butler served in the Navy during World War II, competed on the rodeo circuit and managed his father’s auto agency on Staten Island before he entered the standardbred industry through another Staten Island native, Hall of Famer Anthony Abbatiello.

“I knew Bill Butler since I was 16 years old,” said SBOANJ President Tom Luchento. “He was the nicest, funniest and hardest working guy. He was a horseman through and through. He surely will be missed. My heart goes out to his family.”

Butler began driving and training horses in 1962. Butler’s Mountainview Farm was purchased by his father in 1946 as a weekend retreat.

Among the top horses campaigned by Butler were Straight A by Dale Frost and Butler’s Burner by Oil Burner.

“Dad served on the SBOA Board for about eight years, beginning in the late 1960's and then later in the late 1970's into the 1990's - about 25 years total,” said Bonnie Butler. “He originally got involved to insure that the horseman had a strong voice and was one of the key people involved in the implementation of the Health Insurance/Pension program.”


Bill Butler


BILL BUTLER OBITUARY
(January 12, 1926 - December 27, 2014)
Bill Butler, 88, of Franklin Township passed away Saturday, December 27, 2014 at home on his cherished farm surrounded by family and friends.

Born January 12, 1926 in Tottenville (Staten Island), NY he was a son of the late Raymond A. and Elizabeth S. (McConnell) Butler.

He attended Tottenville High School and left to join the Navy where he proudly served in the Armed Guard during World War II. After his years in the service he joined the rodeo as a member of the Rodeo Cowboys of America and traveled the circuit in the Northeast and Midwest. Following his father's death he briefly ran the family auto agency on Staten Island before changing careers into harness racing.

He enjoyed decades as a successful harness driver in NJ at Freehold Raceway and the Meadowlands, as well as other tracks on the Eastern Seaboard. Along with his wife, Pat, he trained horses and ran a boarding establishment for many years. He was a Director Emeritus of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of NJ and was instrumental in the development of that organization's insurance and pension plan, which served as a model for other groups in the US and Canada. He always championed the cause of the small stable horseman.

He was a member of the United States Trotting Association and the American Legion, Beauvais Hudson Post for 69 years.

He is survived by two sons Kenneth Scarr and former driver-trainer, Robert Scarr; daughter, former driver-trainer, Dr. Bonnie Butler; grandchildren, Stream and his wife, Jackie and Sonia; and a great-granddaughter, Mia.

His beloved wife of more than 50 years, the former Patricia Duff, passed away June 20, 2005.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 11 a.m. in the Devlin Funeral Home, 695 Corliss Avenue, Phillipsburg, NJ [devlinfh.com]. Visitation will be held Friday, January 2, 2015 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to time of services in the funeral home. Burial will be in Bloomsbury Cemetery in Greenwich Township.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Standardbred Retirement Foundation by visiting www.adoptahorse.org or Franklin Township Fire Co, PO Box 43, Broadway, NJ 08808.


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