Alva Jerry Butler
Alva Jerry Butler, 86, from Logan, Utah passed away at home on September 23, 2020. He was
born on March 8, 1934 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Alva Despain Butler and Mary Alice Spencer
Butler. He was the youngest of four children. He was preceded in death by an infant brother,
Spencer Despain Butler and his two sisters, Janet Butler Bean and Joan Butler Neilson and her
spouse Russell Neilson and also by a brother-in-law Clyde Robert (Bud) Pannier and his wife,
Marilyn Peak Pannier.
He is survived by his wife, of 64 years, who he dated in high school and college, Gladys
Anne Pannier Butler, his three children; Steven Jeffery Butler (Belinda), Suzanne Butler Ross
(Bruce), and Richard Jerry Butler (Dee). He is also survived by eight grand children (JR. Sara,
Shannon. Kathryn, Jerry, Scott, Kassandra, and Heather) and 13 great grand children.
He graduated in 1952 from East High where he played football and also took Latin as his
foreign language. This later paid off when he went to the University of Utah's Collage of Law
and became a lawyer in 1956. He worked many jobs during his life from yard work to plumbing,
delivering news papers, manning a service station and parking cars. While at the University he
worked the full-time graveyard shift at the veterans’ hospital and then went to his classes. He
even found time to join the PI KAPPA ALPHA fraternity, an organization he supported for over
After he passed the bar exam, Jerry and Anne were married on August 4, 1956. He and three
friends set up a law office, Butler, Mills, Mitsunaga and Ross in Salt Lake City. After a couple
of years, they disbanded and Jerry joined the US Air Force.
Jerry was a true warrior serving his nation during the Korean War and the Vietnam War as a
member of the US Army Reserves (4 yrs) and then in the US Air Force (26 yrs). His time in the
Armed Forces included being stationed in Utah, Arkansas, Japan, Maine, New Jersey, Virginia,
Philippines, California, and his final duty station at the Pentagon in Washington DC. Highlights
of his career included being accepted to New York University and in 1969 receiving a degree in
International Law (He was certified to try cases in the US Supreme Court) that facilitated him
being assigned to work the US Vietnam prisoner of war issues, serving as the legal advisor to the
US Ambassador of the Philippines and helping to negotiate the Panama Canal Treaty. He retired
in 1985 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He proudly earned the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service
Medal, and the Joint Service and Air Force Commendation Medals.
Jerry's two favorite callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were serving in
the Elders Quorum Presidency and teaching Gospel Doctrine classes.
Jerry was a strong supporter of those who serve and have served as members of the Armed
Services. In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate donations be made in his name,
Lt Col Jerry Butler, to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
A Celebration of his Life Memorial Service will be held on 10 October 2020. A viewing starts
at 1:00pm with the service starting at 2:00pm at Larkin Sunset Lawns, 2350 E 1300 S, Salt Lake
City, UT 84108.