Aug 1, 2014
Obituary: Tom Butler, former apple division manager

Tom Butler, long-time manager of Michigan Processing Apple Growers, passed away July 25. He was 74.

Butler began his career with the Michigan Processing Apple Growers Division of the Michigan Agricultural Commodities Marketing Association in 1973, and retired in 2003 after 30 years of service to Michigan’s apple industry.

According to Dawn Drake, current manager of the apple division, Butler poured his heart and soul into his job and always had the growers’ best interest at heart. He made the apple division a success and a model for other commodity groups across the country.

During his tenure, Butler received several industry awards, including a distinguished service award from the Michigan State Horticultural Society, Fruit Man of the Year Award from the Michigan Association of Pomester Clubs, and a distinguished service award from the National Agricultural Bargaining Conference. He also served as president of the National Agricultural Cooperative Bargaining Council.

Butler is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sue; sons Timothy Butler and Andrew (Summer) Butler; grandchildren Alexis, Jessica, Patriot, Creed and Eli.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Aug. 2 at Tiffany Funeral Home, 3232 W. Saginaw Hwy., Lansing, Michigan. The family will receive guests one hour prior to the service. Contributions may be made to Meijer Heart Centers, 100 Michigan St., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503; Chief Okemos Sportsman Club of Dimondale, Michigan; or a charity of your choice.

Condolences may be sent to Sue Butler at: 7188 Williams Road, Lansing, MI 48911.

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