Jeremy Edward

Jerry Butler, 81, of Phoenix, Ariz., died on March 5, 2012. He was born April 9, 1930, in Grand Forks, N.D., and raised, along with his brothers Roger, Danny and Bruce, by his father, Edward, and his mother, Gwenyth, in various small towns in North Dakota and Minnesota, including Fargo, Jamestown and Bemidji.


He graduated from Jamestown High School in 1947 and attended the Phillips Exeter Academy in 1948. Jerry enrolled at Yale University in 1948 and graduated with a degree in history in 1952.


He met Penelope Franklin Wells while he was a student at Yale and she was a student at Vassar College. They married in the fall of 1952.


Jerry spent four years in the United States Navy, from 1952 to 1956, serving mostly on the aircraft carrier USS Wright during the Korean War. While still in the Navy, Jerry taught and attended Columbia University in New York City, receiving a master's degree in history. (Penny typed his master's thesis.) After completing his active service, Jerry returned to New Haven, Conn., to attend Yale Law School, from which he graduated in 1959.


Jerry and Penny moved to Phoenix in 1959, where he took a job as a law clerk for Arizona Supreme Court Justice Fred Struckmeyer. In 1960, Jerry joined the law firm Lewis, Roca, Scoville, Beauchamp & Linton (now Lewis and Roca), where he practiced law as a trial lawyer and family lawyer for 42 years.


In 2002, Jerry left Lewis and Roca and formed his own practice as a lawyer and mediator (located initially in a warehouse in the downtown Phoenix/Roosevelt Row Arts District), which he continued until his death.


His interests were broad: creative writing, history, mysteries, music, film (Telluride Film Festival), sports (Phoenix Roadrunners ice hockey in particular) and anything that interested Penny or his children or grandchildren. A quote Jerry loved from Bertrand Russell: "This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and I would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me."

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