Haywood Butler, Jr., 90, and formerly of Hopkinsville, died of natural causes on July 20, 2021 at Riverdale Nursing Home in Riverdale, Ga.
Haywood was born in Rockingham County, Va., to Haywood Butler, Sr. and Josephine (née Griggs) Butler. He was the second of seven children. His family settled in Elkton, Virginia, a community in Rockingham County bordered by the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley.
Born on the 4th of July 1931, Haywood’s life may have been predestined for patriotic duty. Upon graduating high school, he enlisted in the military and became a career serviceman in the United States Army. Early on, he was stationed at Ft. Campbell where he met his future wife, Lois Paige. They began their married life in 1954, purchased a home in Hopkinsville and began raising their family which included Bettye Ruth and later Haywood, III.
As a career military man, Haywood served in two wars and was stationed at various places throughout the United States and Frankfurt, Germany and finally settled at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington. He moved through the ranks and retired as a Master Sergeant in the United States Army after 27 years of service. His unit awards included Four National Defense Service Medals (Oak Leaf Cluster), the Korean Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. He was honored to receive the Army Commendation Medal, a medal awarded to individuals for heroism, meritorious achievement and/or meritorious service.
After honorably discharging from the military, “Haywood Jr.,” still a young man, began his civilian career as a Maintenance Supervisor at the Port of Tacoma. Later, he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Evergreen State College and worked with troubled boys at Remann Hall in Tacoma.
Haywood, Jr. truly loved his wife, “Lo;” his daughter, Bettye; and his son, “Third.” And he was passionate about his early model Ford Mustang that he named “Hully.” He was a no-nonsense military man who, at times, could be very funny and very sentimental. Family members relished his advice which he often boiled down to three main things: “A car is just a liability,” “Anything worth doing is worth doing right,” and “When ordering in a restaurant, you can never go wrong with ground round or chicken.”
In addition to his parents, Haywood was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Lois Elizabeth Butler; his young son, Haywood Butler, III; his five sisters: Betty Young, Shirley White, Joyce Randolph, Yvonne Mitchell, and VeraStar Ross; and his brother, Vincent Butler.
He will be lovingly remembered by his daughter, Bettye Ruth Spicer of Fairburn, Ga.; three granddaughters: Teresa Clemmons (John) Schinke of Conyers Ga., Tanya Clemmons Spicer of Atlanta Ga.; and Cyronese Spicer Halfacre, also known as Ava Simone (Kino) Halfacre, of Clarksville Tenn.; four great-grandchildren: Ashley Clemmons, Travis Kirton, Gabrielle Halfacre and Dorien Halfacre; one great-great grandchild, Aaden Clemmons McKay; two sisters-in-law: Melba Bradley of Chicago and Claudette Gee of Hopkinsville; six brothers-in-law: William (Oveta) Gray, Marshall (Betty) Gray, Monzell (Mona) Gray, and Haywood Gray — all of Hopkinsville, Frank Gray of Morganfield, and Gary (Thea) Gray of Tacoma, Wash.; and a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and other relatives.
Services will be held Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at Adams & Sons Mortuary, 306 Mechanic Street, Hopkinsville 42240, viewing at 10 a.m. and funeral at 11 a.m. Burial at Cave Springs Cemetery. Facial coverings and social distancing will be required. Haywood was dear to his family and will be lovingly remembered.