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Jimmy Lee Butler

Memorial for Jimmy Lee Butler

Born in Austin, Texas on Sep. 26, 1951
Departed on Dec. 1, 2009 and resided in Austin, TX.
Visitation: Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009
1:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Service: Monday, Dec. 14, 2009
12 pm
Cemetery: Capital Memorial Gardens
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

Jimmy Lee Butler, native of Austin, Texas, fourth son of the late Samuel and Margie Butler, transitioned from this life to his eternal life, Monday December 8, 2009 at the University Medical Center at the age of 58. Jimmy's parents and brothers, Rogers Ates, Samuel Butler, Claude Butler, and Johnny Butler, all preceded him in death.

He attended Austin Public Schools and a graduate of the Old L. C. Anderson High School class of 1970 and later pursued college studies. He professed Christ at an early age and a member of the Rising Star Baptist Church, Austin, Texas.

Jimmy's musical talents were God given gifts. He played the piano by ear at nine years of age for the Sunday Church School at Peaceful St. James Baptist Church. He later took piano lessons from a few of Austin's noted music educators, such as, the late Mrs. May Alice Mays and was greatly inspired by the late Mrs. Harriet Hardin, musical instructor at Old L. C. Anderson High School. In addition to his gift of playing the piano, came his gift of singing, comforting the heart's and souls of many with his powerful, harmonic, passionate voice. During his youth, he was a member of the Austin City-Wide Youth Chorus, under the leadership of Dr. Ruth Sauls and Edith McKinney.

This "Great Giant" of Gospel Music served as Director and pianist of the legendary renowned "Jimmy Butler Gospel Singers" for many years. Two of those years the group appeared on a Sunday Morning program on then KTBC Television Station Channel 7 in the early 1970's on the Uncle Jay Show and later the Elmer Akins Gospel Show. Many group members continue to spread the musical mission today. The "Jimmy Butler Singers" were featured in concerts at the University of Texas and the Southwest Texas State University; performed at the Austin Aqua Festival and shared a "bill" with the famed "Blackwood Brothers" all of which established them as the most successful group of its kind in the Austin area, as they traveled throughout Texas, Louisiana, and Memphis, Tennessee.

This musical legend's interest in music was encouraged by great musical talents such as Rev. James Cleveland, the Gospel Caravans, Edwin Hawkins, Aretha Franklin, Dorothy Norwood and Albertina Walker, to name a few. He served and worked with many local and National music organizations throughout the years. Jimmy served on the Board of Directors of South Central Gospel Music Conference based in Shreveport, Louisiana, and organized the committee of the Austin Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA). He also organized the first Open-Air Gospel Music Arts Festival co-sponsored by the Rosewood Park and Recreational Center in 1979; and St. John Baptist Association District choir member and Musician.

Most recent memories of his musical gifts was his spirit of bringing "Choirs and Musicians together", as "Church Mass Choirs" history of fellowship began during years of the "Federation of Choirs".
Jimmy has instilled in our hearts during these contemporary times to "Come Together" as he vowed to our Lord; to bring together fellow musicians of surrounding Churches; combine and rehearse their church choirs during many weeks for a Good Friday musical at the New Light Ebenezer Baptist Church, Frank Cage, Pastor, where Jimmy served as Minister of Music until his health failed. Through the years, he served as Music Director of many Church Choirs.
This musical legend served throughout the years in Austin and Central Texas and is remembered as "the Pastors and People's Musician" embedding a legacy of musical wisdom in all who had the opportunity to receive the spirit of music that he shared. Jimmy provided musical accompaniment for several hundreds of weddings and funerals throughout the years and those he touched will forever treasure the memory.

As an employee, Jimmy retired from the Internal Revenue Service after 19 and half years in February 1999. He founded and served as Director of the renowned IRS Gospel Choir. His spirit of people continued as he began a new career as Community Liaison of the Blackshear Neighborhood Association of the "Austin Police Department's Office of Community Liaisons" until his health failed. His highlight of the holiday season was to instill in his son the spirit of giving by volunteering in the Blue Santa Toy for Kids Drive. His most recent hope was to return to "help the people" more within the neighborhood.

He served as member of the Advisory Committee of the Glimmer of Hope Foundation, People's Forum, and President of the Blackshear/Prospect Neighborhood Association.

In prior years, Jimmy united in marriage to Madeline Carrington. To this union, one son was born, Johnathan Butler. As "Dad", he deeply loved his son, encouraging him to be disciplined and strive to do and be the best that he could be.

He is survived by his son, Johnathan Butler of San Marcos, Texas. He also leaves to cherish his memories, special cousins Sherrill Alexander, Jewel Williams; Edwin Roberts; best friend David Houston; aunts, uncles, relatives and friends as he will be greatly missed as President of the Landren Family Reunion Celebrations. He also leaves to cherish his memories his extended family, Madeline McCauley and a host of relatives and friends.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Matthew Rogers; Seton (Main) Hospital; University Medical Center; Austin Home Health; and South Austin Dialysis; Staff and employees of the Austin Police Department. Your individual and personal gift's of care will forever be treasured in our hearts.

Services entrusted to A Life Celebration by Franklin, Taylor, Texas.

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