Joseph Leo Butler, Sr. of Glen Mills, PA, died peacefully on January 7, 2023. He was 88. Joe is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Eileen (née Fadden). In 1990, he was predeceased by dear wife Mary "Mimi" (née McDonald) and is survived by their cherished children Olivia (Gabe Cutrufello), Joseph, Jr. (Kim McLaughlin) and his beloved grandchildren Joseph III and Julia. Joe is survived by four brothers and a sister: Robert (Kathleen Houston), Donald (the late Jean Cochrane), Joan (Bob Niessen), John (Anjel Renzi), and Gerry. He was predeceased by beloved brother William (Anna Masny).
Born in Chestnut Hill, PA on September 12, 1934, to Joseph and Margaret (née Phillips) Butler, Joe was the oldest of six brothers and one sister. After the growing family moved to Mt. Airy, Joe was a boy scout and altar server at Holy Cross school. He graduated from St. John the Baptist High School in Manayunk, where he was captain of the basketball team. Joe earned a BA in Philosophy at St. Charles Seminary, with studies in theology and scripture, and in 1974 completed his MA in Educational Counseling at Villanova University.
Joe was an avid reader, crossword puzzler and word searcher. In Avalon, he loved long bike rides, walking the beach, strolling the boards, playing tennis, and sharing time with his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. He especially loved blessing the baptisms, weddings, lives and losses of the Allam, Butler, Cutrufello, Doogan, Fadden, Jenemann, Marran, McDonald, and Menold families.
Joe found strength for each day in meditation, nature, prayer, reading, T’ai Chi Chih, and being with loved ones. His deep commitment to those in need began when he served six years as a priest in Philadelphia area parishes. He offered liturgical and pastoral services as well as counseling to youth, adults, families, the ill and the bereaved. He was nourished by interfaith, ecumenical and Buddhist studies. From 1969 to 1998, Joe worked as a Career Counselor at Delaware Technical Community College while also serving on the board of Community Interactions, a residential program for the intellectually disabled. After retiring from DelTech in 1998, Joe gave 14 years of Monday service to the Physical Therapy Department of Assisi House, retirement home for the Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia. Throughout his life Joe welcomed every opportunity to love and serve God, family, friends and all in need.
In 2009, Joe and Eileen discovered and joined the St. Mary Magdalene Community (smmcommunity.org) in Drexel Hill, PA. Pastored by three gifted ordained women, this inclusive community gave Joe the opportunity to renew his ministry, anoint others, lead liturgy, preach, and create healing and peace on earth. For fourteen years, Joe was blessed to be part of it. In May 2013, Joe celebrated his 50 th anniversary of ordination here. At Joe’s Celebration of Life, the Reverends Kathleen Gibbons Schuck and Eileen McCafferty DiFranco with Music Ministers James Kaib and David Allam will honor him again.
Above all, Joe loved making all children laugh, especially his two cherished grandchildren, Joey and Julia. He was always quick with a joke or funny song, and would laugh uproariously at his favorite shows and movies. Throughout his life, Joe never missed a chance to tell others how very much he loved them. In lieu of flowers, and in Joe’s spirit of giving, the family asks that you remember him by doing something kind for someone else.
Visitation: Saturday 1/28/23 - from 10-11 in Maris Grove Chapel (fully accessible) GPS: 200 Maris Grove Way, Glen Mills, PA 19342
Celebration of Life: Saturday 1/28/23 from 11-12 in Maris Grove Chapel Reception: Blue Sky Dining Room from 12-2 – RSVP: Fran Kaib 215.802.4269 (text or call)
Donations: In Joe’s memory to your favorite charity, or to: St. Mary Magdalene Community (for charities serving the poor)