Former Scoutmaster Butler dies

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The news Monday of the death of former Brundidge resident Charlie Butler brought sadness to the community he called home for many years. The news was especially sad for the hundreds of boys that were members of Boy Scout Troop 34 during the two decades Butler was Scoutmaster.

The Wallace Brothers, Chip and Cot, both received their Eagle Scout badges under Butler’s leadership. They said Butler is best characterized by the words of the Boy Scout Law, – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, brave, clean and reverent.

“Charlie Butler was Scoutmaster of Troop 34 for during the 1960s and 1970s,” Chip Wallace said. “He was also an outstanding leader in the Brundidge community, the Brundidge Rotary Club and in the Brundidge United Methodist Church. Charlie was a community servant.”

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As a Rotarian, Butler always put service above self. He was distinguished by his fellow Rotarians as a Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary’s highest award, Wallace said.

“Charlie had a lot of contacts and no matter what the Rotarians were selling – Boston butts, raffle tickets or fruit cakes, Charlie was the leading salesman. It was that way at church, too. He was going to outdo everybody else because he believed in Rotary and he loved his church.”

Butler went about doing good things for his church and his community, but it was perhaps as a Scoutmaster that he had the greatest impact.

Cot Wallace said, as Scoutmaster of Troop 34, Butler had the largest and most active Scout troop ever in Brundidge and one that would rival all other troops in the Alabama – West Florida Conference.

“More Scouts received their Eagle Scout badges while Mr. Butler was scoutmaster than any other time and it’s a very impressive list,” Wallace said. “We had a good time in the Scouting program and learned a lot.”

Wallace laughingly remembered when the troop was a Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee and one group of Scouts got lost.

“They had divided Troop 34 and our guide was new,” Wallace said. “He didn’t know the park very well and got us lost. Mr. Butler was with us so we felt safe but we had to spend the night out in elements without blankets or food.”

Wallace said Butler was kind and cheerful in dealing with the young guide and brave in dealing with his lost Scouts.”

Money was not a plentiful commodity in the Scouting program that was chartered by Brundidge United Methodist Church, and Butler believed the Scouts should earn their keep.

“Mr. Butler worked for Wayne Farms and he set it up so that about four times a year, Troop 34 would go out to poultry farms and catch the chickens and put them in crates for delivery,” Wallace said. “We would go out after dark so it would be cooler and for five or six hours, we would catch chickens.

“We could have used wire hooks but, being boys, we grabbed the chickens by the legs and threw them in the crates. We got paid and earned money for camping supplies and other things the Troop needed.”

Chip Wallace said Butler made Scouting available to all boys who wanted to participate.

“There some members of the Troop who didn’t have the money to go to summer camp or participate troop activities. Charlie made sure any Scout who wanted to participate could. He was that kind of leader – that kind of man.”

Jim Medley was a Scout leader and worked with Butler in that arena and also in the Rotary Club.

“Charlie was a good fellow in all ways,” Medley said “He was committed to a lot of causes and, when he was committed, he was committed. He went all out. There was no half way for Charlie. What more can you say about a man than he was committed to his community and committed all the way.”