In Loving Memory of Raymond R. Butler
It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Raymond Butler, born on February 28, 1953, and passed away on July 9, 2023, after living a truly blessed life. His loss was completely unexpected, and the family is devastated. A remarkable man whose vibrant life remains an inspiration to all who knew him.
Raymond was born and raised in Seattle, WA. After the passing of his mother at a young age, he and the rest of his siblings were raised by his aunts, Mary Reed, Peril Jackson, Ann Davis, and his beloved Uncle Bennie (Willie Reddings). Raymond acquired his spirituality from the strong Christian faith and tutelage of his aunts and never lost it. He attended both Garfield and Franklin High Schools in Seattle and entered the Seattle Fire Department training at the young age of 20.
Raymond would fill the room with his larger-than-life personality and infectious charm and smile. He interacted with everyone he came in contact with and made every effort to reach out to the younger generations to offer guidance, love and mentorship. He took on a patriarchal role in his family and beyond; always trying to keep family close, and reaching out to find those he may have lost contact with. His annual "Butler Family" picnics at Gene Coulon Park were legendary, and friends and family alike were all welcome. His love for his family was only surpassed by his love for life itself.
A true aesthete, Raymond had a deep appreciation for culture, art, classic cars and fashion. His favorite artist was Jacob Lawrence, and he had a particular affection for abstract art and depictions of African American life. He loved the theatre, jazz, R&B and rap. He also loved a good suit and a good shoe and only wore the best. He was known for his immaculately tailored style.
Raymond's adventurous spirit led him to explore the world. He had a particular fondness for Barbados, traveling there many times over the years with friends and family. He loved his many trips, traveling to Thailand, Paris, London, the Dominican Republic, the US Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas, Saint Martin, Jamaica, and all over Mexico and Canada. He was also an avid festival seeker, filling his calendar with summer festivals from Seattle to Phoenix and up into Canada.
Raymond had an active lifestyle. Enjoying golf, tennis, racquetball, basketball, and biking. He was active throughout his life, and often immersed himself in his sport of choice at the time, learning all of its nuances. He loved coaching basketball, and often coached kids at the Ballard Boys and Girls Club. He also played and coached the Seattle Fire Department basketball team, at one time winning Coach of the Year.
Raymond's professional accomplishments were as diverse as his interests. His career spanning over 30 years as a Seattle Firefighter, retiring in 2004 at the rank of Lieutenant, his successful stint as a topflight hair designer, receiving training at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London, and later his endeavors as the owner and operator of a real estate brokerage showcased his many talents, tenacity, and the breadth of his abilities. His diverse accomplishments are a testament to his firm belief that what one man can do another man can do.
A confident man with a playful, funny, and charming personality, Raymond had an innate ability to connect with people—young and old, from all walks of life. Anyone who interacted with him just once, would always remember him when they saw him again. His legacy will continue through the rich tapestry of relationships, the lessons imparted, and the stories shared that will forever echo his name.
Raymond was preceded in death by his mother, Edgar Reddings; his brothers, Duane Butler, Michael Butler, Terry Butler, and Lewis (Sam) Evans; and his sister Debra Butler.
Raymond is survived by: his wife, Marina; sons Raymond and Terry; his brother, Larry; his sisters, Joyce and Gwen; his aunt, Janice; grandchildren, Karleah, Jireh, Brittney, Briana, Terry, Rashaila, J'Sean and Aubrey; great grandchildren, Daniel, Re'Aunna, Winter, Faith, Terraya, Terry III, True, Terrye, Kalia, Yasmina, Ayah and Amir; as well as one great great grandchild, Rayne and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends who will forever cherish him.
The family has set up a memorial website at:
Thursday, August 3, 2023 at 10am
Arrive by 10am, funeral to begin at 10:30am. Procession to Hillcrest Burial Park, 1005 Reiten Rd, Kent, WA 98030 will immediately follow the service.
TABERNACLE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH 2801 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98144