Arthur Irvin Butler (Gary) was born on December 12th, 1950 in Charleston, WV to Arthur & June Hagerman Butler. He went home to see his Savior on, April the 8th, 2021.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Terri Butler.
He leaves behind the love of his life, Shirley Anne Holsinger Butler. Three children with loving spouses who were his children too, 8 grandchildren, who he adored and rejoiced in sharing conversations, 2 Great Grandchildren, his only living Sibling Sheri Boley, a niece, nephew, and many loving friends.
He met the Love of His Life in 1984, while hanging out with the Drifters on a promotion in Ashland, Kentucky. Anne Holsinger not only became his wife, but they made an incredible team. Arthur said when he met her, he knew she was practical and that was exactly what he needed. Their Love was evident to all that ever witnessed the two of them together.
Only 1 month before he left us, he and Anne moved to Port Orange, Florida. Arthur had great plans for a Podcast, an Art studio as an outlet for disabled and many other ways he wanted to teach, he never gave up.
How do you sum a mans life in a few paragraphs that managed to inspire, teach, share love, inspiration, devotion, kindness and laughter to all that ever met him? To every person, stranger he met, he had a kind word and a way to make everyone smile.
His whole life was an amazing gift God gave to us. He will continue to inspire with all he taught us, the gifts he left in each person’s heart, and his personal life work of encouragement to those with disabilities or different in the eyes of society.
At the age of 18 months, Arthur was struck with Polio. Dr. Salk’s vaccine wouldn’t be available for two years. Despite losing the use of is right arm, muscle weakness in his legs, and lungs, he not only as a child overcame many social and physical issues, yet continued to inspire with a lifelong dream of having the disabled become all they could be and society to accept the disabled without prejudice. He spoke as an inspirational speaker at many events and was an inspiration to all. Arthur appreciated James Allen quotes and often repeated them, “Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.”… “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”
He began his career in sales and was fantastic at it because that was just who he was, every person saw the man they dealt with as real and genuine.
His next step in life was to start a successful business of his own, A.B. Promotions in Charleston, WV. Arthur worked as an agent and promoter, working with many famous groups as well as providing entertainment all over the country. He moved to Florida in 1984, he continued expanding his career with creating a nonprofit organization in the state of Florida know as P.A.T.H. (The Performing Arts Theater for the Handicapped. Next was a radio talk show in Saint Lucie County, FL with a syndicated broadcast on local Radio with the show P.A.T.H. The voice of the disabled. The show was a great success inspiring discussion on speaking openly about social issues affecting the physically challenged. The show welcomed discussions on social issues such as discrimination, and what the disabled could do to address those issues. Each week he spoke with many entertainers, such as Tiny Tim, the Coasters lead singer Carl Gardner, Roy Rogers and a vast number of famous people. The interviews were just a part of the show, as he himself was extremely talented and his voice impersonations were an extension of his own personality. He was the voice for TV commercials, radio characters and his “tribe” Arthur challenged all that stood in the way of the disabled and their individual rights. When challenging the United States Postal Service, he stood for all that had disabilities. The local papers quoted Arthur many times over the next decades, “Physically challenged people should be more active and seen, not ashamed of their disability. They should live life without any limitations.”
He truly loved people and was always looking for ways to make them laugh and invest in their lives.
There were many accomplishments over the years, the honor of an Addy (American Advertising Federation), becoming a state representative for literacy, granite benches a memorial in Saint Lucie County Florida for the Challenger as well as those who gave their lives for their country, citizen awards, author of 2 children’s elementary books against discrimination to teach children that being different is a gift and against bullying. He continued in wanting to get more of the books to schools, he continued every day to dream and teach of a better way. His dream and legacy of P.A.T.H. will continue.
One of Arthurs most treasured poems written by a personal friend O.E. Walker is poignant to those who knew his love of life and Christ.
When the Lord in all his glory
Shall appear upon this earth,
In the sky we shall meet him,
Who have received the new birth
The Holy Lord shall fulfill his promise
To return again someday,
And the saved ones will go
To Heaven on that day.
How many of your loved ones
Will be left behind on that day
To face the fate of the world
As the Holy Spirit is taken away.
So have Christian love for your neighbors and loved ones.
And tell them Jesus provides the way
For them to go to Heaven
And there is no other way.
I love my Lord and Savior
And I’m waiting for that day
When he shall return
And I will be taken away.
For in Heaven there’s no sorrows
No tears or no pain
Only joy forever
As I’m with my Lord and King.
The family ask that you remember Arthur in the things he did, his voice, his wisdom, maybe a piece of advice you will never forget, the way he lived and examples he set. The work he put into doing things well, the places he’d been, the stories he’d tell. His success, his passions, his laughter, his love. He was proud of you. When you think of Arthur (Gary) remember everything that made the man he was and pass forward kindness in his name. His memory lives on through you.
Arthur did not want a traditional funeral, he wanted a party to celebrate his life, with a lot of Motown. Please join us May 22nd, 2021 at the Dupont Middle School (Old Dupont High School) 1 Panther Dr. Belle, WV at 7pm. There will be open mic for those that would like to share a funny story or say any words.
Lastly in place of flowers or gifts the family ask donations to be sent to P.A.T.H 5242 Rogers Ave. Port Orange Florida, 32127 to print more books so that they may find a child to inspire, Arthur never gave up and neither will P.A.T.H.