John Adams Butler
John Adams Butler, 90, of Yuma, Arizona, entered into eternal life on March 4, 2004. He was born July 3, 1913, in Hubbard, Arizona, the eldest of 11 children born to Will and Mary Butler. Growing up, he loved to sing and play the guitar, and gained notoriety playing the guitar in a band named "The Nighthawks."
After marrying his childhood sweetheart, Helen Peterson, in 1933, he and Helen moved to Los Angeles to pursue his music career. A few years later, the family moved to Phoenix and Johnny learned carpentry. Eventually settling in Yuma during the war years, he was one of only two licensed building contractors in town. Johnny operated his own business, Butler Roofing and Insulation, for over 25 years, before retiring in 1968.
During this time, Johnny built many homes and commercial buildings, including structures at the Yuma Test Station (YPG) and what is now MCAS. The original O'Malley Smith Lumber Company building was one of Johnny's first projects in Yuma and he also provided roofing for such large projects as Arizona Western College, Yuma Mesa Shopping Center and Parkview Baptist Hospital.
Johnny was active in many early Yuma civic clubs such as the Jaycees, 20/30 Club, Lifetime Member of the Elks Club, the Yuma Golf & Country Club, Boy Scouts of America and the LDS Church. He was aprolific hunter and fisherman, evidenced by having Butler Hole in the Imperial Wildlife Refuge named after him. Johnny was also one of the early Yuma pioneers to sportfish in the Gulf of California, making countless trips to his place in San Felipe, Mexico.
In addition to all of his other achievements, he was a devoted husband, family man and the best dad ever! Hewas always ready to entertain by singing and playing his guitar at church functions, family reunions or any other event and will be lovingly remembered by all those that knew him as "Uncle Johnny." During his retirement, Johnny perfected his secret recipe for award-winning beef jerky.
Johnny is survived by his loving wife of seventy years, Helen, his five children, Gloria (Lee) Ferrin of Garden Grove, California; Kent (Lois) Butler, of Morro Bay, California; Linda Adsit of Santee, California; Lenore (George) Barrientos of Mesa, Arizona; and Bill Butler of Yuma, Arizona. Johnny leaves 11 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. Other family members include sisters, Della Hanna of Harlingen,Texas; Ruth Anna King, of Las Vegas; and, brother Dennis Butler, of Payson, Utah. He was preceded in death by brother Ruben (Maureen) Butler;Theda (Wilton) Lines; and Louise (Lavoy) Morris.
Visitation will be held at Johnson Mortuary on Sunday evening, March 7th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. emorial Services will be held at the LDS Stake Center at 4300 W. 16th Street on Monday, March 8th at 2:00 p.m.
Donations may be made to the ASU Scholarship Fund in the name of John and Helen Butler.
William (Bill) J. Leonard
William (Bill) J. Leonard passed away March 1, 2004 from complications with diabetes. Bill was born on December 6, 1927 in Yuma, son of Adeliada Leonard. He graduated from Yuma Union High School in 1948. he served in the US Navy and fought in the Korean conflict. During this time he married his high school sweetheart, Rose Marie Higuera on September 24, 1950. Upon his return from duty, he was hired by Senator Harold Giss to work in the Emporium Department Store in Yuma. In 1968, he relocated to El Centro to work for Connon-McMorris Construction Company. In 1972, he took the position of Assistant Manager with American Fence Company, where he remained for 25 years until his retirement.
Bill is survived by his wife of 53 years; sons. Steven and daughter-in-law, Dee, of Yuma, Michael , of Imperial, Robert and daughter-in-law, Karen, of Phoenix, Arizona, Mark, of El Centro; daughter, Barbara Ann, of El Centro, and ten grandchildren, Matthew and Melissa, of Imperial, R.J., Victoria, and Rebecca, of Phoenix, Allison, Andrea, Justin, Shayne, and Brandon, of El Centro. Bill was a loving husband, father, and grandfather, he will be hissed very much. God Bless and we love you, may you rest in peace.
Services are being held at Goodbody Mortuary, 5027 El Cajon Blvd, in San Diego on Monday, March 15, 2004 at 12:30pm. Bill's final resting place will be at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Point Loma, San Diego.