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Celebrating the life of
Dr. Thurman O. Butcher
Passed away on May 28, 2018
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
912-352-7200
  • Visitation
  • 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. - Sunday, June 03, 2018
  • Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
  • 7200 Hodgson Memorial Drive (Map)
    Savannah, Georgia 31406

  • 912-352-7200
  • Funeral Service
  • 11:00 a.m. - Monday, June 04, 2018
  • Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church
  • 1008 East Henry Street (Map)
    Savannah, Georgia 31401

  • 912-233-4351
  • Interment
  • - Monday, June 04, 2018
  • Hillcrest Abbey West
  • 1336 Dean Forest Road (Map)
    Savanah, Georgia 31405

  • 912-233-3557

Offering our heartfelt and deepest sympathy to the Butcher family. May the love of family and friends as well as the words at “2 Corinthians 1:3,4 help you get through this most difficult time.

, ,

Sorry this is late. I just read the obituary for Dr. Butcher in the Howard Times. Dr. Butcher was the principal who hired me at Atholton High School in 1978. I graduated from AHS in 1969, so coming back to teach there was like coming home. I have many fond memories of him. This is the one I remember the most. Several parents complained to him that I was deducting points from students' papers for spelling errors when I taught Biology. One day he walked into my classroom, turned and left. Later I asked if everything was alright and he explained the situation and said, "How could they get them wrong?" when the words "separate" and "proteins" were on the wall in 1 foot tall letters. I may not have taught some students any Biology, but I did teach several students how to spell "separate". He supported me 100%. As per his recommendation, I changed my grading policy to not deduct too many points for spelling errors. My deepest condolences to the family.

Bonnie (Sraver) Luepkes, Highland, MD

I worked with Thurman at Atholton High School. What a fine gentleman and principled leader.

Lee Preston, Fort Myets, Fl

My deepest condolences to the Butcher family. I graduated from Atholton in 1980 and I remember Mr. Butcher as an administrator who never seemed to lose his cool. He was visible (the white shoes!) and accessible. I remember how impressed my mother was that, during a meeting with her, he excused himself so he could be in the halls during the change of classes. I am now an educator in Baltimore County and I appreciate his leadership style even more.

Joyce Gray, Baltimore , MD

I always enjoyed being in your company. Thurman was a wonderful man, great husband and a supportive father. I still remember sitting near both Thurman & Jean while Cheri “slunked” down the tree on the stage at Slayton House doing a scene from THE APPLE TREE. The expression in Jean’s face was priceless as she saw her fifth grade daughter growing up before her eyes. “I didn’t know she was growing up” was the comment Jean made. A beautiful family memory!

Tom Brzezinski, Marriottsville , MD

Thoughts and prayers to the butcher family I am a 1984 atholton graduate Dr butcher had alot of influence on my decision to attend Howard Vo Tech wich led me to the business I own in Howard county. Amazing man an educator Rip Sir

Scott Amigh, Annapolis , Maryland

Dear Butcher Family, My sincere condolences. I am an '85 graduate of Centennial HS and have never ceased telling stories of Dr. Butcher to my clients throughout the years. I'm sure I'll still be reminding people of his wit and humor for many more. May he rest in peace.

Irfan Gurbuz, Huntingtown, MD

Seeing Dr. Butcher’s picture brought a rush of good memories and sincere admiration. We worked together at Atholton High for his entire time there. He was the consummate educator, a perfect gentleman, and a man of grace. We have lost a good man. My condolences to Jean, Cheri, and family. Ronnie Bohn

, ,

Dear Butcher Family, Very sorry for your loss. I attended Atholton High School in Howard County when he was Principal (Class of 1976). I have fond memories of school official who was kind and friendly person.

Steve Hartong, Ellicott City, MD

Dear Family, Pappy was an incredible person, who always made us feel included. Sorry we were not able to be there for the service. You all continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

Ciccodicola Family, ,

Pappy was very special - there are many wonderful memories for all of us. Grand sends her comfort and love.

Joan Hester Byrd, Savannah, GA

Kathy worked with Thurman at Centennial in the 80’s as a library media specialist and I worked with Jean in the guidance dept at Glenelg in the 70’s. We both had great respect for Thurman. He was a fair man and in charge of his school. I feel the same as the Streagles - a life well lived and a positive influence on students and teachers.

Ed and Kathy Markley, Ellicott City, Md

T.O.B. I learned how to be a principal from Thurman. You just had to watch him at work. So many fond memories. The white belt and the white shoes. I always knew when to stand clear because he would put his hands behind him and rock back and forth. He didn’t say anything because he didn’t have to. Thurman was always “formal” but so easy to be around. I could not repeat his style but he would not have wanted me to. He loved to talk about Cheri and well he should have. Donna and I always enjoyed spending time with T.O.B. and Jean at school and convention activities. A life well lived. Many lives touched in a positive way. Seeing his picture made me smile!

Gene and Donna Streagle, Ellicott City, MD

My condolence to the family of MR Butcher. May the peace of God be with you, during this very difficult time. At ( 1 Corinthians 15:26) we are reassured that the last enemy death, is to be brought to nothing.

C. Belvey, Ridley Park, PA

I am sorry to hear about Dr. Butcher's passing, but I want his family to know how he helped guide me as my student teaching advisor back in 1992. I still remember his wit and wisdom and appreciate his guidance at the advent of my career. One of the favorite pastimes in the faculty lounge is griping about school leadership, both past and present. We complain about real and perceived slights, unreasonable expectations, the latest can't miss teaching initiatives, and those times we didn't get a double super exemplary performance review. I have been at Centennial High School for 20 years, and although I wasn't there when Dr. Butcher was principal, I have never, ever heard a bad word about him from the folks that were lucky enough to work under his leadership. Dr. Butcher was a man of class and character and I thank him for sharing his time and talent with me.

Ted Steel, Silver Spring, MD

May the friends and family of Mr. Butcher find comfort in the Bible's promises that soon, "all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out" (John 5:28, 29), and "[God] will wipe out every tear from [our] eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore." (Revelation 21:3, 4). We can also rest assured that God 'will swallow up death forever, and He will wipe away the tears from all faces...for He himself has spoken it.' (Isaiah 25:8) https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/about-life-and-death/

Paulaina, ,

Dear Cheri and family, I, too, was-am-will always be a "Daddy's Girl" and send my love and prayers to you. I know you have so many happy memories of good times with him - hold on to those now and always! with my love, Tina

Faustina Smith, Savannah, GA

I worked with Thurman for eleven years at Atholton High School in Howard County Maryland. Thurman was an excellent principal! He as always”out and about” in order to see what was going on in the halls and in the classrooms.It was not uncommon for him to “pop” into your classroom to observe what was being taught.Thurman was very proud of his family,especially his daughter Cheri.Thurman was truly interested in the guality of learning in our school.His leadership,support,and mentorship helped me to be a better teacher. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He was a good man and I know he is at peace! Sincerely,

Steve Perrine, Sykesville, Maryland

Cheri: Our deepest condolences for your loss. Our prayers are with you and your family

Pepe and Doris Sandoval, Ocean View, DE

Cheri, my daily thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I too was an only child and a "Daddy's Girl" and feel your loss deeply. Please feel free to call me if there is anything I can do for you and Billy and your family.

Kay Deffley, Savannah, Ga

Cheri, Our sincere condolences to you and you whole family. We will keep you in our prayers. Betsy and Tom

, ,

Dear Cheri and Family, Your father was so greatly loved by all who knew him. His smile would make everything seem all right. His kindness sparkled in his eyes. We will miss just knowing that he was not far away and that we would see him from time to time. But we know he is with God and that is where he needs to be, now. We will be praying for Jean and for all of his devoted family.

Colin and Jackie Stewart, Savannah, GA

Dear Butcher Family, I met Mr./Dr. Butcher when he was the V>P> at Pikesville H.S. in Sept., 1964. Over the next two years I got to know him as a student. He could be a rather harsh disciplinarian but he was also extremely fair. I was President of Pikesville's first graduating class in 1966. I worked closely with Dr. Butcher planning and implementing various class activities in a situation that was unique. I was a student, he was an administrator. Representing my class we wanted all kinds of Senior class activities that; 1) had never been done at the school and 2) were not approved by the county school board. Mr. Butcher represented the board. We argued for many hours which I am sure was a position he had rarely been in. WE compromised on most issues, occasionally I was the sacrificial lamb. Thurman O. Butcher was one of the fairest people I have known. I think he was guided by a very strong set of moral principles. He was in the position of having to be Mr. No, yet he compromised and the students appreciated it, even if at the time they didn't realize it. Somewhere in Heaven at a Sunday School he is teaching and guiding. Please be at Peace knowing he is now at PEACE.

Allan Block, Hollywood, Fl 33021,

Most loving thoughts to Cheri and the Extended Butcher-Hester family. ??

Nancy Pasternack, Sarasota, Florida.,

My deepest condolences to all.

Mary Kesslee, Lawrenceville, Ga.

My sincere condolences for the families loss. With his longevity of life many wonderful memories has been shared with each one of you. Keep them stored in your hearts and mind and think of them when on days when you are missing him the most and it makes you smile. Take comfort in the words of Almighty God at John 5:28,29; Revelation 21:4,5. Keeping in your hearts that with "Almighty God" All Things Are Possible(Matthew 19:26). Your family will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

LP, Baltimore, MD

I am sorry for your loss. I know this must be a difficult time for you. One thing that always comforts me when I lose a loved one is the scripture at Revelation 21:4,5. There God promises "death will be no more" and that "these words are faithful and true". So we have the hope of seeing our dead loved ones again. I hope this brings you much comfort in your time of need. My Condolences

DNB, ,

My condolences to the family. May you find comfort in the scripture at Revelation 21:4 and the website jw. org.

Niecy, Savannah, GA

Dr. Thurman O. Butcher, 86, made his transition at Azalealand Nursing Home on May 28th, 2018.

Born on October 9, 1931, in Montier, Missouri, Thurman was the son of Winita and Orin Butcher.  He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Central Methodist College, a Master of Education Degree from Western Maryland College, a Certificate of Advanced Study in Education from John Hopkins University, and a Doctor of Education Degree from George Washington University.

A veteran of the United States Army, Thurman served in the Counter Intelligence Corps, including time in Germany.  While in the Service, Thurman met the love of his life, Jean Smith, at a YWCA dance.  They were married on February 19, 1955.

Thurman was a born educator.  He made a career of being a principal at high schools in Baltimore County and Howard County.  He was well respected and won many awards, including Principal of the Year for the state of Maryland.  After retiring and moving to Georgia, Thurman taught Educational Administration at Georgia Southern University.

Thurman and Jean raised one daughter, Cheri, who they greatly supported in her love for theatre and in her stage career.  After the Butchers retired, they moved from Columbia, Maryland, to Savannah where they helped their daughter and son-in -law raise their four children, who loved their “Pappy.”

A lifelong Methodist, Thurman was a member of Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church for many years.  He transferred to Asbury Memorial UMC when his son-in-law became Asbury’s senior minister.  Over the years, Thurman taught Sunday School classes, served on the Trustees, Finance Committee, and greatly supported the church with his prayers, presence, gifts, and service.  He also served on the board of the Wesley Community Centers for many years, and he distributed food for Meals On Wheels.

Thurman and Jean loved to travel the world together, especially on cruises.  They were also active bowlers with Thurman serving as president of their bowling league.  They cherished being with family and friends on cruise ships, in bowling alleys, at church, at their home, or anywhere else they could spend time with friends and loved ones.  Thurman will forever be known for his love, loyalty, and commitment to God, family, friends, and country.

Thurman is survived by his wife, Jean, of 63 years; his daughter Cheri Hester (Billy); four grandchildren: Chelsea Hester, Christi Hester, Wendell Hester, Wesley Hester; a sister, Ozella Walker (Leon), and many nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to express their sincere thanks to Thurman’s wonderful personal caregivers, to the staff of Azalealand, and to the staff of Hospice Savannah.

The visitation will be at Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel on Sunday, June 3, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

The funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, June 4, at Asbury Memorial UMC, 1008 East Henry Street (corner of Waters Avenue).  Parking is in back of church building,

Interment will follow at Hillcrest Abbey West Cemetery, 1336 Dean Forest Road.

Remembrances: Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church, 1008 East Henry Street, Savannah, GA, 31401.

 

 

SHARE YOUR CONDOLENCES

  

GUEST BOOK

Offering our heartfelt and deepest sympathy to the Butcher family. May the love of family and friends as well as the words at “2 Corinthians 1:3,4 help you get through this most difficult time.

, ,

Sorry this is late. I just read the obituary for Dr. Butcher in the Howard Times. Dr. Butcher was the principal who hired me at Atholton High School in 1978. I graduated from AHS in 1969, so coming back to teach there was like coming home. I have many fond memories of him. This is the one I remember the most. Several parents complained to him that I was deducting points from students' papers for spelling errors when I taught Biology. One day he walked into my classroom, turned and left. Later I asked if everything was alright and he explained the situation and said, "How could they get them wrong?" when the words "separate" and "proteins" were on the wall in 1 foot tall letters. I may not have taught some students any Biology, but I did teach several students how to spell "separate". He supported me 100%. As per his recommendation, I changed my grading policy to not deduct too many points for spelling errors. My deepest condolences to the family.

Bonnie (Sraver) Luepkes, Highland, MD

I worked with Thurman at Atholton High School. What a fine gentleman and principled leader.

Lee Preston, Fort Myets, Fl

My deepest condolences to the Butcher family. I graduated from Atholton in 1980 and I remember Mr. Butcher as an administrator who never seemed to lose his cool. He was visible (the white shoes!) and accessible. I remember how impressed my mother was that, during a meeting with her, he excused himself so he could be in the halls during the change of classes. I am now an educator in Baltimore County and I appreciate his leadership style even more.

Joyce Gray, Baltimore , MD

I always enjoyed being in your company. Thurman was a wonderful man, great husband and a supportive father. I still remember sitting near both Thurman & Jean while Cheri “slunked” down the tree on the stage at Slayton House doing a scene from THE APPLE TREE. The expression in Jean’s face was priceless as she saw her fifth grade daughter growing up before her eyes. “I didn’t know she was growing up” was the comment Jean made. A beautiful family memory!

Tom Brzezinski, Marriottsville , MD

Thoughts and prayers to the butcher family I am a 1984 atholton graduate Dr butcher had alot of influence on my decision to attend Howard Vo Tech wich led me to the business I own in Howard county. Amazing man an educator Rip Sir

Scott Amigh, Annapolis , Maryland

Dear Butcher Family, My sincere condolences. I am an '85 graduate of Centennial HS and have never ceased telling stories of Dr. Butcher to my clients throughout the years. I'm sure I'll still be reminding people of his wit and humor for many more. May he rest in peace.

Irfan Gurbuz, Huntingtown, MD

Seeing Dr. Butcher’s picture brought a rush of good memories and sincere admiration. We worked together at Atholton High for his entire time there. He was the consummate educator, a perfect gentleman, and a man of grace. We have lost a good man. My condolences to Jean, Cheri, and family. Ronnie Bohn

, ,

Dear Butcher Family, Very sorry for your loss. I attended Atholton High School in Howard County when he was Principal (Class of 1976). I have fond memories of school official who was kind and friendly person.

Steve Hartong, Ellicott City, MD

Dear Family, Pappy was an incredible person, who always made us feel included. Sorry we were not able to be there for the service. You all continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

Ciccodicola Family, ,

Pappy was very special - there are many wonderful memories for all of us. Grand sends her comfort and love.

Joan Hester Byrd, Savannah, GA

Kathy worked with Thurman at Centennial in the 80’s as a library media specialist and I worked with Jean in the guidance dept at Glenelg in the 70’s. We both had great respect for Thurman. He was a fair man and in charge of his school. I feel the same as the Streagles - a life well lived and a positive influence on students and teachers.

Ed and Kathy Markley, Ellicott City, Md

T.O.B. I learned how to be a principal from Thurman. You just had to watch him at work. So many fond memories. The white belt and the white shoes. I always knew when to stand clear because he would put his hands behind him and rock back and forth. He didn’t say anything because he didn’t have to. Thurman was always “formal” but so easy to be around. I could not repeat his style but he would not have wanted me to. He loved to talk about Cheri and well he should have. Donna and I always enjoyed spending time with T.O.B. and Jean at school and convention activities. A life well lived. Many lives touched in a positive way. Seeing his picture made me smile!

Gene and Donna Streagle, Ellicott City, MD

My condolence to the family of MR Butcher. May the peace of God be with you, during this very difficult time. At ( 1 Corinthians 15:26) we are reassured that the last enemy death, is to be brought to nothing.

C. Belvey, Ridley Park, PA

I am sorry to hear about Dr. Butcher's passing, but I want his family to know how he helped guide me as my student teaching advisor back in 1992. I still remember his wit and wisdom and appreciate his guidance at the advent of my career. One of the favorite pastimes in the faculty lounge is griping about school leadership, both past and present. We complain about real and perceived slights, unreasonable expectations, the latest can't miss teaching initiatives, and those times we didn't get a double super exemplary performance review. I have been at Centennial High School for 20 years, and although I wasn't there when Dr. Butcher was principal, I have never, ever heard a bad word about him from the folks that were lucky enough to work under his leadership. Dr. Butcher was a man of class and character and I thank him for sharing his time and talent with me.

Ted Steel, Silver Spring, MD

May the friends and family of Mr. Butcher find comfort in the Bible's promises that soon, "all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out" (John 5:28, 29), and "[God] will wipe out every tear from [our] eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore." (Revelation 21:3, 4). We can also rest assured that God 'will swallow up death forever, and He will wipe away the tears from all faces...for He himself has spoken it.' (Isaiah 25:8) https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/about-life-and-death/

Paulaina, ,

Dear Cheri and family, I, too, was-am-will always be a "Daddy's Girl" and send my love and prayers to you. I know you have so many happy memories of good times with him - hold on to those now and always! with my love, Tina

Faustina Smith, Savannah, GA

I worked with Thurman for eleven years at Atholton High School in Howard County Maryland. Thurman was an excellent principal! He as always”out and about” in order to see what was going on in the halls and in the classrooms.It was not uncommon for him to “pop” into your classroom to observe what was being taught.Thurman was very proud of his family,especially his daughter Cheri.Thurman was truly interested in the guality of learning in our school.His leadership,support,and mentorship helped me to be a better teacher. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He was a good man and I know he is at peace! Sincerely,

Steve Perrine, Sykesville, Maryland

Cheri: Our deepest condolences for your loss. Our prayers are with you and your family

Pepe and Doris Sandoval, Ocean View, DE

Cheri, my daily thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I too was an only child and a "Daddy's Girl" and feel your loss deeply. Please feel free to call me if there is anything I can do for you and Billy and your family.

Kay Deffley, Savannah, Ga

Cheri, Our sincere condolences to you and you whole family. We will keep you in our prayers. Betsy and Tom

, ,

Dear Cheri and Family, Your father was so greatly loved by all who knew him. His smile would make everything seem all right. His kindness sparkled in his eyes. We will miss just knowing that he was not far away and that we would see him from time to time. But we know he is with God and that is where he needs to be, now. We will be praying for Jean and for all of his devoted family.

Colin and Jackie Stewart, Savannah, GA

Dear Butcher Family, I met Mr./Dr. Butcher when he was the V>P> at Pikesville H.S. in Sept., 1964. Over the next two years I got to know him as a student. He could be a rather harsh disciplinarian but he was also extremely fair. I was President of Pikesville's first graduating class in 1966. I worked closely with Dr. Butcher planning and implementing various class activities in a situation that was unique. I was a student, he was an administrator. Representing my class we wanted all kinds of Senior class activities that; 1) had never been done at the school and 2) were not approved by the county school board. Mr. Butcher represented the board. We argued for many hours which I am sure was a position he had rarely been in. WE compromised on most issues, occasionally I was the sacrificial lamb. Thurman O. Butcher was one of the fairest people I have known. I think he was guided by a very strong set of moral principles. He was in the position of having to be Mr. No, yet he compromised and the students appreciated it, even if at the time they didn't realize it. Somewhere in Heaven at a Sunday School he is teaching and guiding. Please be at Peace knowing he is now at PEACE.

Allan Block, Hollywood, Fl 33021,

Candle tribute lit by Ben & Kelly Jones — Georgia

Most loving thoughts to Cheri and the Extended Butcher-Hester family. ??

Nancy Pasternack, Sarasota, Florida.,

My deepest condolences to all.

Mary Kesslee, Lawrenceville, Ga.

My sincere condolences for the families loss. With his longevity of life many wonderful memories has been shared with each one of you. Keep them stored in your hearts and mind and think of them when on days when you are missing him the most and it makes you smile. Take comfort in the words of Almighty God at John 5:28,29; Revelation 21:4,5. Keeping in your hearts that with "Almighty God" All Things Are Possible(Matthew 19:26). Your family will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

LP, Baltimore, MD

I am sorry for your loss. I know this must be a difficult time for you. One thing that always comforts me when I lose a loved one is the scripture at Revelation 21:4,5. There God promises "death will be no more" and that "these words are faithful and true". So we have the hope of seeing our dead loved ones again. I hope this brings you much comfort in your time of need. My Condolences

DNB, ,

My condolences to the family. May you find comfort in the scripture at Revelation 21:4 and the website jw. org.

Niecy, Savannah, GA


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