Barbara Butler

Barbara Butler

ST. JOSEPH – Barbara A. Butler, 91, of St. Joseph passed away at 2:55 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 15, 2013) at Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Freese Funeral Home, 302 E. Grand Ave., St. Joseph. Burial will be in Patterson Cemetery, St. Joseph. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Barbara was born Nov. 10, 1921, in Syracuse, N.Y., the daughter of John and Frances Rinck Bowker. She married Robert N. Butler on Aug. 25, 1948. He preceded her in death on Nov. 22, 1986.

She is survived by her children, Jean Butler of Denver, Colo., Pam (Jimmy) Butler of New Orleans, La., and Bruce (Mary) Butler of Champaign. Grandsons Matt (Amy) Butler and Brian (Heather) Butler; five great-grandchildren, Jack, Owen, Blake, Caroline and Ian Butler; and one brother, Dr. John H. Bowker, of Coral Gables, Fla., also survive.

In 1951, Barbara and her husband moved to St. Joseph and purchased the Dale Publications, a group of weekly newspapers and printing business, serving as co-publisher and co-editor until Aug. 1, 1979. On July 1, 1980, she became Supervisor of St. Joseph Township, becoming the first female township official in St. Joseph Township, retiring in 2000.

She served in the Red Cross as a recreation worker post-World War II in the Pacific on four islands in the Philippines.

She was a member of the St. Joseph Woman's Cclub, St. Joseph Unit 634 American Legion Auxiliary, Piatt County Salon 569 Eight and Forty, and Altrusa International of Champaign. She was active in Senior Republicans. She was a graduate of State University of New York at Albany in 1943. She was the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the year in 1991. Barbara was a lifelong college football fan. She attended her first game in 1930 and went to two games in 2012. She was also active with Carle Foundation Hospital's Cancer support group. She enjoyed being a member of the St. Joseph Red Hat Society and being a 4th grade pen pal.

Memorials may be made to the Eastern Illinois Food Bank, 2405 N. Shore Dr., Urbana, IL 61801 or the World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130.