September 19, 2022

Mr. James O. Butts, 88, of Fulton, Ky., passed away on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at The Jackson Pur-chase Medical Center in Mayfield.

James was born in St. Louis, Mo., on January 1, 1934, to the late Talmadge D. Butts and Emma Browne Butts. At an early age, the family moved to this area, and he attended school at Chestnut Glade and then Fulton City Schools.

James was a faithful mem-ber of Smith Street Church of Christ, serving as dea-con, elder, and Bible class teacher. His love for God was evident as he opened his Bible classes with the reciting of the 23rd Psalm. He loved mission work and went on over twenty-five missionary campaigns. James served on the Board of Trustees at Freed-Hardeman University for 50 years.

He faithfully served his country in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict. After his time in the service, he met and mar-ried Patsy Jean Killibrew on May 20, 1956. James prom-ised Patsy they would trav-el, and he kept that promise. They have been to every state in the Union and numerous foreign coun-tries. He instilled his wander-lust in his two daughters, Kathy and Jamie, as they traveled throughout their childhood and adult years.

James began work for Mr. Harvey Caldwell at Office Outfitters, Inc. in January 1956. James and Patsy bought the business in 1965. When asked about himself, James would most often reply, “I’m just a pa-perclip salesman from Chest-nut Glade.” James sold paperclips all over West TN and West KY for 25 years and then was appoint-ed Assistant Treasurer for the Commonwealth of Ken-tucky and later Assistant Secretary of State, serving both offices under the late Frances Jones Mills.

Following his service in State Government he re-turned to Fulton and began a career with the former Ful-ton Bank. He served on the Board of Directors and was President, retiring in 2001.

James valued faith, family, and education. Always look-ing for opportunities to serve his community, James served on multiple boards and community organizations on both local and state lev-els. James served on the Board of Regents of Mur-ray State University, James had a true passion for Edu-cation, advocating tirelessly for Student Athletes. Foot-ball was his favorite sport, and James treasured the development of a spe-cial friendship with Houston Nutt. As Houston’s coach-ing career advanced, James considered himself honored to have been on the side-lines at Murray State Uni-versity, The University of Arkansas, and The Universi-ty of Mississippi.

James Butts, affectionate-ly known to his family as Daddy and Granddaddy, instilled in each member of his family how to live life with integrity. Serving and valuing everyone was a par-amount lesson he passed on to his chil-dren, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was their true North Star.

James is survived by his wife of 66 years, Patsy Kil-librew Butts; two daughters, Katherine Butts Waycaster (David) and Jamie Butts Hicks (Mike); four grand-sons, Michael Waycaster (Lauren), Blake Waycaster, Adam Hicks (Samantha) and Conner Hicks; six great-grandchildren, Ezekiel Waycaster, Olivia Waycaster, Berkley Hicks, Dawson Hicks, Sloane Hicks, and Raden Wood-ruff. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Preceding James in death were his parents and two sisters, Virginia Austin, and Vivian Wolberton, one nephew, David Austin, and one niece, Susan Wheeler.

Services were Monday, September 19 at the Horn-beak Funeral Chapel at 1:00 p.m. Visitation was from 11:00 until the time of the service. Burial followed at Pleasant View Memorial Gardens.

To honor the memory of James O. Butts the family requests memorials to: Smith Street Church of Christ, 411 Smith Street, South Fulton, TN 38257; Murray Racer Football Alumni As-sociation, P.O. Box 83, Murray, KY 42071 (Murray State University); Freed-Hardeman University Athlet-ics, 158 E Main Street, Henderson, TN 38340.

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