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In Memoriam

Joan R. Butler

Joan R. Butler

COOPERSTOWN – Joan R. Butler, 90, who for many years resided in Pierstown, passed away peacefully August 8, 2023, at Woodside Hall in Cooperstown.

She was born March 8, 1933 in Oneonta, the first daughter of Jesse E. and Elsie (Weldon) Robinson of New Lisbon.

In her teen years, her family moved to Cooperstown, where they resided in her grandparents’, Frank and Gracie Robinson’s, riverside home, the “Elmhurst” in Phoenix Mills, where they ran a lumber mill. Joan attended Cooperstown High School, later (in life) earning her GED in order to attain her broker certification.

On October 29, 1950, Joan married Robert Charles Butler, a native of Cooperstown, in a ceremony at Christ Church in Cooperstown.

They first lived in Hyde Park in a humble home built by her husband. Then, in 1989, Joan and Bob moved to a home and property on Reiss Road in Pierstown they named “Fox Run.”

Much like her late husband, Joan had a passion and knack for finance. After serving as a teller at KeyBank, she quickly became the branch manager in the 1970s. After her tenure at KeyBank, she earned her broker certification and for decades was an investment counselor, first for John Hancock, and then RBC Wealth Management in Cooperstown, assisted by her sister, Dorothy. Joan retired in her late 70s.

Joan was a long-time member of Otsego-Hartwick-Arbutus Chapter No. 201, Order of the Eastern Star, and in 2016 she was presented with her 50-year membership pin at the annual Otsego-Schoharie District Officer’s Visitation at the Cooperstown Masonic Temple. Even after her husband, Bob, passed away, she remained dedicated to the Masonic Fraternity, often attending Otsego Lodge No. 138, Free and Accepted Mason’s Honored Guest Nights.

For many years, Joan also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Lakewood Cemetery in Cooperstown. In 2018, she received a certificate from the Lakewood Cemetery Association designating her “trustee emeritus” for her years of service as the association’s treasurer.

Joan is survived by her brother, Gordon A. (Barbara) Robinson (Fly Creek); and her nieces and nephews, Bonita “Bonnie” (Paul) Varney (Milford), Connie Jo Robinson (Fly Creek), Julie (Matthew) Robinson-Barnes (Hartwick), Brenda (Todd) Eckler (Conway, South Carolina) and Bruce (Donna) Eckler (Canastota).

Joan was predeceased by her father, Jesse E. Robinson, who died February 18, 1976; her mother, Elsie K. Etheridge, who died March 29, 2009; her husband of 60 years, Robert C. Butler, who died January 30, 2011; their son, Robert Jesse Butler, “Slugger,” who died February 23, 2020; and her sister, Dorothy A. Eckler, who died April 1, 2022.

Joan will forever be remembered for her strong-mindedness, determination, drive for perfection and independence.

Her family would like to thank the staff at Woodside Hall for their caring and loving spirit, her lifelong friends Laura (Michael) Page for their companionship and assistance, and Helios Care for making her comfortable in her final weeks.

Friends may call and pay their respects from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

The Office of the Burial of the Dead with Holy Eucharist (Rite I) will be offered at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 14, 2023, in Christ Church, Cooperstown, with the Reverend Nathan P. Ritter, rector, officiating.

The Service of Committal and Burial will follow in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown.

In her younger years, Joan served on the Board of Directors at the Susquehanna SPCA, assisting in the construction of the Hartwick Seminary facility. Joan loved her cats throughout the years and her last cat, Jezebel, brought her much comfort. “Jezzy” was a feral cat who found a warm and loving home with Joan.

As an alternative to flowers, the family suggests that memorial gifts be made to the SQSPCA Joan R. Butler/Community Cat Alteration Program, 5082-5088 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326. Contributions received in her name and under this program will assist in the capture, alteration, and re-release of feral cats in the community.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown. 


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