Cover photo for Charles Robert Butler's Obituary
Charles Robert Butler Profile Photo
1925 Charles 2021

Charles Robert Butler

May 19, 1925 — March 10, 2021

Robert Butler died peacefully on March 10, 2021, at his home near Lometa.  He was born on May 19, 1925, on a farm seven miles north of Graham in Young County, Texas to Thomas C and Della Butler.  He graduated from Graham High School and served in the US Navy during World War II.

A Texas Tech University graduate, Butler married Billie Kathryn Lancaster, also a Tech graduate, in 1950.  They moved to a ranch west of Lometa in Mills County, where they raised cattle, sheep, and goats, and were active community members.  The drought conditions during his first seven years in ranching, 1950-1957, were portrayed in the book written by Elmer Kelton, "The Time It Never Rained."  One of his neighbors always said that when it rained 40 days and 40 nights Mills County only got a heavy dew.

Robert Butler was a long-time member of the Lometa Lions Club and served as president for two years.  He was chosen "Lions Club Man of the Year" in 1968 and 1991.  Two of the Lions Club projects he helped initiate were the Lometa Diamondback Jubilee, for which he served as master of ceremonies for 20 years, and the Lometa Regional Park.

He also served as a precinct chairman and state delegate for Mills County Democratic Party, as a member of the Lampasas County Appraisal District Board of Directors, and on the Lometa Rural Water Board.  He was a member of the American Legion and the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association.

Butler was an advocate for children and was elected to the Lometa Independent School District Board of Trustees, and served as president for many years.  He was a longtime supporter of the FFA Rodeo and announcer at the first rodeo.  For many years Mr. Butler was a wrangler for the Methodist Boys' Ranch in Waco.  He was president of the Tri-County Methodist Men for eight years, and during his tenure Methodist Men from Lampasas and Mills counties built a set of working cattle pens for the Methodist Boys Ranch.

Butler was a Boy Scout Leader and pack master for Cub Scouts, and a teacher for the Lometa United Methodist Church Sunday School.

He was an active cattle rancher until he retired at the age of 91.  He enjoyed raising sheep, but losses to coyotes of up to 50% of the annual lamb crop put him out of the sheep business.  Substantial reduction of the mohair subsidy cratered the Angora goat business and put him and other ranchers out of the goat business.  Eradication of the screw-worm fly in 1966 was a lifesaver for ranching and caused an explosion in the whitetail deer population, which became a consistent income source for Bulter and many local ranchers.

Butler enjoyed reading about Texas history and had a library of more than 300 related books.  He grew and photographed Texas wildflowers, and he and his wife Kathryn gave wildflower preservation programs around the area.  He enjoyed looking for Native American artifacts on the "Green Fly Ranch".

Butler was preceded in death by his wife, Kathryn Butler; brothers, Thomas Clinton and James Harold, and sister, Mary Dell Ellis.  He is survived by his sister, Betty Ruth Bills, his children, Charles Robert Butler, Jr., and wife Pam, Debora Terry and husband, Tom, of Lampasas, and Belinda Gillum and husband Stanley of LaGrange, five grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.  Services will be a private family memorial.

Memorials may be made to Lometa United Methodist Church or Methodist Children's Home.

Sneed Funeral Chapel in charge of arrangements. 

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