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Richard Colburn Butler, Sr.

Little Rock, AR

Richard C. Butler was born January 1, 1910 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was a boy scout and he graduated from Little Rock High School in 1927. He attended Little Rock Junior College and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1931. He was also awarded doctorate of law degrees from Hendrix College in 1981 and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1986.

He practiced law from 1933 until 1963 when he became the president of Commercial National Bank and later chairman of the board. He was a member of the American and Arkansas Bar Associations and represented the Little Rock School Board during the 1957 desegregation case.

He served as captain in the Army Air Corps during World War II, receiving the Bronze Star Medal for service in the China-Burma-India theatre. In 1997he was inducted into the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame for his role in acquiring the Jacksonville site of Little Rock Air Force Base. He also helped to develop part of West Little Rock.

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church. He was the fourth generation of his family to attend the church. Mr. Butler met his wife Gertrude Remmel in the youth group of the church. In 1991 he donated a large amount of money to improve the church's daycare center, which was soon renamed the Gertrude Remmel Butler Child Development Center.

He was a horticulturist, and he enjoyed talking about his passion for flowers. He was well known as a grower of daffodils and hybridizer of day lilies and irises. He was regional vice president of the American Iris Society.

Mr. Butler was a member of the Heifer Foundation Board of Trustees.

Richard Butler died Monday September 13, 1999. A memorial was established in 1999 with the charitable remainder of gift annuities from Richard C. Butler, Sr. of Little Rock.