Vern Pershing Butts obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Vern Pershing Butts

September 13, 1918 - October 6, 2016

Obituary


Vern Pershing Butts died peacefully on October 6, 2016 at 98 years old. He was born on September 13, 1918 in Mt. Vernon, WA. He was the middle child and only son of Harry Dow Butts and Ella Charlotte Rolfson.
He grew up in Stanwood, WA where he learned to love fishing and hunting and all kinds of sports. He played football, basketball, baseball and ran track at Stanwood High School. His senior year he fell off a cliff while looking for a perfect fishing spot. He spent 6 months in a wheelchair...

Vern Pershing Butts died peacefully on October 6, 2016 at 98 years old. He was born on September 13, 1918 in Mt. Vernon, WA. He was the middle child and only son of Harry Dow Butts and Ella Charlotte Rolfson.
He grew up in Stanwood, WA where he learned to love fishing and hunting and all kinds of sports. He played football, basketball, baseball and ran track at Stanwood High School. His senior year he fell off a cliff while looking for a perfect fishing spot. He spent 6 months in a wheelchair with two broken legs and a broken arm.
He finally got the scholarship to Washington State to play basketball. He played on the team that went to the National Championship in 1941. They were the runner up. Vern also played and was captain of the WSU baseball team. He got his bachelor's degree from Washington State and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox, but he had already enlisted in the Marines to serve in WWII.
During the summer before he left for basic training, he went to the Strawberry Festival in Burlington, WA. There he met Dorothea 'Toodie' Waters. In January of 1944 Toodie travelled by herself across the country on the train to Cocoa Beach, Florida. They were married there 5 days after her 20th birthday.
After the service he tried to get back into baseball by playing in Triple A teams, but finally accepted his first teaching job at a high school in Sequim, WA.
In 1947 he moved to Portland, OR and began his 31 year career at Grant High School. He taught PE(which included swimming and dancing), Health and Driver's Ed. He coached baseball and basketball, the became the Athletic Director. Once he demonstrated how to pole vault to the track team and on several occasions sat on a chair at mid court and made free throws. Not too many graduates of Grant High School didn't know of 'Mr. Butts'!
During the Korean War he was called back and was stationed at Camp Pendleton then San Francisco. Shortly after that he completed his Masters Degree from University of Oregon. He retired from teaching in 1980.
His favorite place to spend time was with Toodie at their cottage on the beach in Point Roberts, WA. He could fish for salmon, dig for clams and throw in a pot for crabs. He grew beans, peas, tomatoes, garlic, rhubarb and raspberries. They could sit on the deck and look over the water to Mt. Baker and the San Juan Islands while enjoying a martini or rum and coke.
He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Dorothea 'Toodie' Butts. His daughter Kathy(Larry)of Portland, sons Mike(Vickie)of Vancouver, WA. Jeff(Kimberly)of Point Roberts, WA and Chris(Monique) of Omaha, NB. He will be missed by his four grandchildren; Katie, Jesse, Zack and Brandon. And one great grandson Landon. Also the families of his step grand daughters Jacki Freeman, Jenny LeCorre and Jamie Mann. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.