Retired Colonel Budd Henry Butcher, 92, passed away peacefully January 21, 2019 at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas. Budd was the only child born to Hallie and Geneva Butcher on February 5, 1926 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. From an early age Budd had a passion for airplanes and flying, and went from winning competitive model airplane contests to enlisting in the Army Air Corps Reserve at the age of 17. He was called to active duty in February of 1944 and began a 30-year career serving his country and doing what he loved, flying.
A holder of two Distinguished Flying Crosses, Budd spent most of his Air Force career outside the United States serving in Germany, Korea, Greenland, and Norway (he loved his time in Norway). Outside of his family, nothing gave him more satisfaction than the time he spent serving his country in the Air Force. He was a true patriot.
After retiring from the Air Force in 1973, Budd and family moved to Arizona where the native Minnesotan and his Norwegian wife found the heat a bit unbearable. After touring the west coast, the family settled in Olympia, Washington where Budd started his brief but memorable farming career. He always recalled fondly his days owning and working the Holly Hill Orchard located just outside Olympia. With over 200 trees, the seasonal demand turned out to be a year-round chore. It was a “prickly business” he would often say with a chuckle. During all this Budd continued his passion for flying with numerous roles as a corporate and air taxi pilot. He ultimately retired from flying in 1992 with over 15,000 hours of flight time in 35 different aircraft.
Budd retired to Colorado Springs shortly thereafter where he developed sincere, long-lasting friendships with some absolutely amazing people (most retired Air Force of course). He had fond memories of meeting at Walters, or the bar upstairs in the Broadmoor, or dinner at the officer’s club at Peterson AFB.
In 2016, Budd left his home of over 20 years and moved to Wichita to be closer to family. It was difficult for him to leave his friends, but it was a blessing for his kids and grandkids. Time spent with “Grand Pops” was precious.
His was a tougher generation. One that knew sacrifice and commitment, hard work and dedication, and he tried to instill his kids and grandkids with the importance of these qualities. He was an inspiration to all of us. His passion for learning, love of life, and can-do attitude were infectious. When things got tough, his favorite line was simply “suck it up Butcher”, and he persevered. Whether cruising around in his Jaguar with the top down or sitting at home building model airplanes with music from the 40s and 50s or Frank Mills’ Music Box Dancer playing in the background, Budd loved life. He lived it on his terms to the end. He always gave more than he received, and his gratitude was always genuine. He sincerely cared about all those around him. He wanted to help everyone.
Budd is survived by three children, Marol, Budd (Sarah), and Eric (Tara); and four grandchildren: Kyle, Carson, Ainsley, and Maren.
A memorial and celebration of his life will be held in Colorado Springs at a time in the near future when all his friends are able to attend.
Colonel Budd H. Butcher – A great father, a wonderful grandfather, a patriot, and a great friend. May he rest in peace on his final flight.