Barbara D. Butler, age 87, of Decorah, IA, died Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN.
Memorial Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. Sunday, March 30, 2014, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah with Rev. Joan A. Mau officiating. Private Family Inurnment will be in Lutheran Cemetery in Decorah, at a later date.
Visitation will begin at 1:00 P.M. Sunday, one hour before the service at the church.
Barbara was born November 15, 1926 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the beloved daughter of Henry A. and Agnes (Johnson) Daum. She was raised in the Twin Cities and graduated from Central High School in 1943. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Macalester College in 1948. She worked as a medical technologist at Miller Hospital until 1954, and was a Research Associate at the University of Illinois from 1961-1963.
She married the late Dr. Bartlett Butler, a long-time member of the Luther College music faculty on June 9, 1949. The marriage was blessed with three children: David, Anne and Paul. The couple came to Decorah in 1954 where Bart had an appointment at Luther College. An extended pre-doctoral leave took the couple to the University of Illinois where Barbara worked as a Research Associate. They spent a year in Germany while Bartlett was working on his doctoral dissertation, and returned to Decorah in 1964.
Barbara was well known as an active and effective member of the college and local communities. Devoting much of her time to volunteer work, she was quite active in the early years of establishing and growing the Depot Outlet -- a non-profit organization, owned by the Winneshiek County area churches, that operates a recycled clothing, books and household goods store in Decorah. During the 1980s she was a leader in Decorah's initiatives that were entered in the statewide Iowa Community Betterment program. She has been a fixture at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for more than 50 years. Those who knew her best took delight in her love of animals (especially dogs), as well as her great sense of humor, and her sharp intellect. While she was still active, she could often be found digging in her woodland garden and exploring for fossils along the river.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; one brother, and Bart, her husband of 62 years.
She is survived by her three children: David Butler, of Fairfield, IA, Anne (John) Arends, of Saint Charles, IL and Paul (Jenny) Butler of Decorah; and her five grandchildren: Kate Arends (Joseph) Peters and Allison Arends of Minneapolis, MN, David Arends of Ankeny, IA, Sam Donlan of Decorah, and Seth (Ashley) Butler of Cedar Falls, IA.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Luther College, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, WMC Hospice or a charity of the donor's choice.