Today's Paper Latest Coronavirus The Article iPad Core Values Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive Story ideas

James Thaddeus Butcher

Sherwood, AR, 1923 - 2011

James Thaddeus Butcher, Colonel, USAF Retired, died Saturday, March 26, 2011 at the age of 87. He was born in Prescott, Arkansas and moved to Austin, Texas where he attended high school. From 1943 to 1945 he served as First Lieutenant in the US Army Corps. He worked his way through college, earning a BBA in Engineering from the University of Texas. In 1950 he joined US Air Force and served until 1974. Col. Butcher was a command pilot, flying C130 aircraft and was part of the original cadre of USAF helicopter pilots. He served in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War. Col. Butcher was awarded numerous medals for outstanding service including the Distinguished Medal Award, the Air Medal, the Meritorious Service Metal, and the Military Merit Award. As a rescue helicopter pilot he flew both military and civilian rescue and recovery missions. His rescue operations drew the attention and praise of many political and civic leaders and organizations. Prior to retirement he was responsible for the supervision of all United States Military and Civil Air Rescue activities over the North American continent.
After retirement from the military he was a home builder in Sherwood and North Little Rock and enjoyed golf, fishing and gardening. Col. Butcher will be remembered for his integrity, honesty, unwavering work ethic and bravery.
He was predeceased by a son, Stephen Maxwell Butcher, and his wife of 53 years, Kathryn Golden Butcher. He is survived by his children Susan Blair (Steve) of Little Rock, Beth Butcher of North Little Rock, Thad Butcher (Kelli) of Rogers, and Emily Waters (Bruce) of Sherwood; grandchildren Sarah McKelvain (Nick), Andrew Blair (Amber), Jackson Blair, Zachary Butcher, and Erin Butcher; and four great-grandchildren.
A graveside service with military honors will be held at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock on Thursday, March 31 at 1 p.m. Pastor James Bennett of New Life Church will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Veteran Re-entry program at St. Francis Ministries, 2701 Elm Street, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72204. His family is very appreciative of the many compassionate friends and neighbors for their gracious care and kindness in recent years. Arrangements by North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main, 758-1170. Online obituary and guest registry at

Published March 29, 2011

North Little Rock Funeral Home
1921 Main St, North Little Rock, AR
Phone: 501-758-1170