May 11, 2021
It is with love and great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Michael Butler on May 11 at 90 years of age; beloved husband, dad, #1 grandpa, papa and uncle.
Michael was born and raised in Errington, BC. His love of theatre began at an early age by helping his parents with their theatre productions. He also met Sid Williams during that time, who travelled down with theatre productions from the Valley.
After graduating from high school and working in Vancouver for a couple of years, Michael moved to Courtenay where he began his 36 year career with the Department of Highways; first as a field surveyor and then being responsible for permits and subdivision applications.
Shortly after moving to Courtenay, he met his wife, Anna through the local badminton club. They married in 1956 and had 2 daughters. Michael always enjoyed time with his family, was a wonderful dad and shared many interests with Anna.
They both liked going to concerts, musicals, plays, loved dancing, hosting dinner parties, playing bridge and once they had both retired, travelling with good friends, Lilian and Alan Blakeley. Michael and Anna especially loved spending time with their granddaughters as the girls grew up and they welcomed the birth of their great-grandson 3 years ago.
Much of Michael’s spare time was spent on volunteer work. As well as helping form the Sandwick Waterworks district, being a board member, doing repair work, Michael also volunteered his time and lighting skills throughout the Comox Valley, in other island communities and in Vancouver.
He was part of the volunteer group who worked on the old Bickle Theatre, now known as the Sid Williams Theatre, including digging out the orchestra pit and was part of the group who worked on converting the Catholic Church into the Old Church Theatre.
His 50+ years of theatre work have included helping to organize Scattered Skits, doing lighting for Courtenay Little Theatre, Co-Val Choristers, Rainbow Youth Theatre, some C.Y.M.C. productions, Kathaumixw – an International Choir Festival, productions with Carol Coulson, elementary school concerts, Highland Fashion shows, Dance school recitals and the Children’s Telethon.
Michael also worked with high school students helping them set up the lights for their school productions. He, along with Carol Coulson and Dale Burgess, came up with the idea for Rainbow Youth Theatre which put on its first show in the summer of 1988 and carries on today.
Michael has been recognized for his decades of volunteer work with the Freedom of the City, a lifetime membership to C.L.T., a Paul Harris Fellowship, Citizen of the Century, his support of the Children’s Telethon, a NI Drama Lighting award in his name and a RYT student bursary in his name.
Michael will be lovingly remembered for his good sense of humour, love of puns, telling favourite family stories, eating breakfast at Leung’s, having coffee at Tim Hortons, being an all around handyman, being ready to help or rescue at a moment’s notice, his Tracker filled to the brim with tools, lighting equipment, assorted odds and ends and always being a warm, friendly, welcoming person to all.
Michael was predeceased by his parents, Bob and Dorothy; brother Robert (June) and sister Andree (Donald). He will be deeply missed by his wife of 64 years, Anna; daughters Carol and Janet; granddaughters Laura (Ian) and Rosemary (Chris); great-grandson Theo; cousin Michael (Robin); nieces, a nephew and their families as well as numerous friends.
Thank-you to all the wonderful staff at our Valley hospital for your care for Dad.
If you wish, memorial donations may be made to Rainbow Youth Theatre, Comox Valley Children’s Telethon, Sid Williams Theatre or the Heart and Stroke Fund.
There will be a celebration of Michael’s life to be announced at a later date.
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