“ To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”. This was the motto from Colene Ruth Butler’s Newkirk High School’s 1957 diploma characterizing her life.
Colene was born July 26, 1939 to William Joesiah and Lois Purnnie (Noteware) Ramsey, growing up on a farm near Newkirk, OK. The hard work of the farming life did not dissuade her from enjoying life whether it was from riding a log down a creek during a flash flood or going to town on Saturday nights to go dancing.
On December 27, 1957 she married Burl James Butler in Winfield, KS. At first meeting she didn’t much care for “that Butler boy”. But that union proved to be an everlasting love for a little over 30 years. Burl and Colene finally settled in Panhandle to raise their family in 1961.
Colene worked at various jobs that included the Pampa and Panhandle newspapers as well as the Amarillo Air Base. When the base shut down and transitioned to Bell Helicopter, she spent the next 20 years with Bell. One of the highlights of her career at Bell was her ride in one of the helicopters. After bell she worked at and eventually retired from Panhandle National Bank where she was affectionately known as “Sarge”.
She enjoyed fishing, boating ( even though she could not swim), cross stitching, the 55+ Club, Red Hat Floozies, traveling and her church family in Panhandle. Her greatest joy was her family and serving the Lord.
Colene passed away on January 29, 2021. She was preceded in death by the love of her life Burl: parents: four brothers (Rex Moran, J. B., Raymond Douglas and Robert Lee); one sister (Karen Jones); son-in-law David D. Smith; and two grandchildren.
She is survived by her children: Daughter Kathy Jo Smith of Los Alamos, NM: Sons James (Paula) and Bill (Wendy) both of Amarillo. Six Grandchildren Karolyn Mae (Chris), James Evan, Katelyn Danae (Alex), Kristen Janaye (Eric), Joshua Boyd and David Joesiah. Sister- in- laws Edna Butler and Loretta Ramsey. Multiple great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
Funeral services will be Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 3:00 pm at Church of Christ in Panhandle. Burial will be in the Panhandle Cemetery under the direction of Minton Chatwell Funeral Directors of Panhandle. Family and Friends visitation will be Monday, February 1, 2021 at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation to Alzheimer’s Association, Kindred Hospice or a charity of your choosing.
The family of Colene Butler wishes to thank all the wonderful staff and nurses at Brookdale Sleepy Hollow and Kindred Hospice for their care and support they provided to her.