Cover photo for Robert L. Butcher, Jr.'s Obituary
Robert L. Butcher, Jr. Profile Photo
1957 Robert 2021

Robert L. Butcher, Jr.

May 21, 1957 — October 17, 2021

With great sadness the family of Robert L. Butcher, Jr. announce his passing on October 17, 2021, at OSU East Hospital after battling complications from COVID-19. Robert, known as “Robby,” by his close family and friends was born May 21, 1957, in Athens, OH and is the son of Mrs. Dessie Workman of Stewart, OH and the late Robert L. Butcher, Sr. He was 64 years old.

Robby graduated from Federal Hocking High School and Tri-County Regional Vocational High School after completing the Engineering and Drafting program, Class of 1975. Following graduation, he moved to Belpre, OH and worked for the Monongah Power Plant for more than 18 years. Robby lived in the Belpre, OH area for many years with his first wife Judy (Woodf) Lowrey. Judy and Robby grew-up together in Athens County and maintained a lifelong friendship. Their relationship wove together the connections between their families as lasting bonds.

If you knew him during these years, you might recall seeing him racing by you on Route 50 in his brown Camaro with his best friend T.C. Brown of Parkersburg, WV in the passenger seat. Robby was a car enthusiast; and he and T.C. became inseparable friends after meeting as co-workers at Monongah Power Plant. Many years later, when Robby relocated to Central Ohio, he was employed at Buckeye Steel and at Ohio State University (OSU). Robby was a proud OSU Buckeyes football fan, who rarely missed an opportunity to support his favorite college team. He was glad to work on the campus of his favorite team before a heart condition led to an early retirement.

More than his love of college football, Robby loved people. The last words he spoke before he passed away were: “tell everyone I love them.” Robby began caring for children from a young age as one of the eldest of his siblings. Even as a young adult, when he might have given his attention to other things, he was still caring for those around him, including members of his extended family, many of whom also knew him as “Moose”.

His desire to be a father was realized when he met and married Kim (Barber) Hickson. After meeting Kim, he dived headfirst into fatherhood and never looked back, except to occasionally question things he wished he had done differently, as parents often do. He would always say “I am not perfect, but I love my children.” After battling health challenges for years, he knew how it important it was to not miss an opportunity to say the words, “I love you,” especially if it might be the last words you say. Robby loved each of his children deeply and enjoyed talking about their many accomplishments over the years.

In the last ten years or so, Robby adopted a slower pace of life and enjoyed reminiscing about times gone by. He never missed an opportunity to remind you that he had in fact “reformed” his ways in his later years as he shared stories of more youthful times with laughter. Woe to the person who was not actively paying attention as he peppered you with questions to ensure you were tracking the story. Telling these stories made him feel young again. Though, few things have given him more joy than time spent with his family, especially times spent with his grandchildren, who fondly called him “Pawpaw.”

Robby treasured simple things, such as meals at home with loved ones and watching The History and Nature channels on TV. When he met his wife, Le (Nguyen) Butcher, he told people he found his companion, and affectionately referred to her as “my honey.” Robby and Le married in a quiet ceremony on his mother’s front porch in Stewart, OH, this past summer. Robby and his wife Le enjoyed taking care of each other and his grandkids. They would frequently travel together from Central Ohio where they lived to Southern Ohio, where Robby grew up, and where his mother Dessie and her husband William Workman still reside.

Robby would tell people that he could not let too many days pass without seeing his mother in person. On the days he did not visit, he called her, and began their conversations with: “Hi mom, it is your number 1 son.” He would follow this pronouncement with laughter, as if his siblings had no chance of surpassing his importance to her. It did not matter how old he was, he loved having her attention. When he felt too many days had passed without seeing her, he would get in his car and drive to Southern Ohio, sometimes without giving her any notice. He was so eager to be greeted by her comforting presence he would not even bother to plan many of his visits or call first to make sure she was available.

One of Robby’s favorite places to sit was on his mother’s front porch, where he spent many mornings with his stepfather William (Bill) Workman. He was a lifelong learner who loved to read and learn new things about nature and history, much like his stepfather Bill. They had many long conversations about the things they learned.

Robby appreciated the quiet beauty of the hills of Southern Ohio and waiting for the usual list of family members to arrive during his visits. He would welcome the interruptions of honking horns as people drove by or pulled into his mother’s driveway. He was always happy when his aunts and uncles, siblings, and nieces and nephews exited their cars and walked towards the steps of his mother’s front porch. He would sit facing the steps, waiting to see who might arrive next. He was most excited when he would see his children and grandchildren arrive. If the person arriving was not one of his children or grandchildren, he greeted you with a slightly less exuberant “Hey, how are you doing?” Although, he would be pleased if anyone would listen to his stories while doing some birdwatching, as the birds swooped down to the birdfeeders his mother carefully placed around the porch.

He especially liked to visit her home on the weekends to attend Sunday services at Haga Mission, a church that was founded by his late paternal grandparents Rev. Lewis and Elsie Butcher. He enjoyed being close to the places where generations of his family had resided. As a genealogy enthusiast, Robby was a lifetime member of the Multicultural Genealogy Center (MGC) of Chesterhill, OH, a Center birthed out the retirement plans of his beloved uncle, the late Alvin Clay Adams, and his wife Ada Woodson Adams.

Robby preferred the intimacy of the small churches in the countryside where he grew up to larger churches in Central Ohio where he relocated. He longed to be in the company of familiar persons with whom he shared long histories. You might have found him on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, discussing the Bible verses he read that morning with his uncle Rev. John Butcher, at his mother’s kitchen table. If you met with him there, you probably witnessed him shifting many conversations to politics with such an excited tone he would elevate the blood pressure of everyone around him, as he spouted out frustrated rants about the state of the world.

If we had to choose one word to describe Robby, it is passionate.

He believed in things passionately.

He lived passionately.

He loved passionately.

And he passionately fought to remain with his family until he no longer could.

Despite their sadness, his family finds peace in knowing he was greeted when he entered the pearly gates of Heaven by many who knew him and loved him as they do. Robby was preceded in death by his father, Robert Lewis Butcher, Sr., his maternal grandparents Ada Holbert and Clarence Nichols, his paternal grandparents Elsie (Tabler) Butcher and Rev. Lewis Butcher, his maternal uncle Alvin Clay Adams, his paternal aunts Alice (Butcher) Curtis, Madge (Butcher) Stewart, Irene (Butcher) Lucas, and Zelma (Butcher) Hill, and his paternal uncles Floyd Butcher, Sam Butcher and Mark Butcher and brother-in-law Carlos Velez Montalvo. Robby had close relationships with many of his cousins, namely, the late Bobby Dalton, and the late Kevin Butcher. Robby’s brother David fondly referred to the trio as “The Dalton gang,.” Together they planned many enterprising adventures, such as junking and trading cars and motorcycles, and cutting chip wood, and could sometimes be found watching car races at Skyline Speedway in Stewart, OH.  

Robby’s surviving family members include his wife Le Butcher of Canal Winchester, OH, his mother and stepfather Dessie and Bill Workman of Stewart, OH, his children Trenton (TJ) Shriner of Saint Mary’s, WV, Shuntell Alexander of Canal Winchester, OH, Robert Steven Alexander and Theus Alexander of Parkersburg, WV and five grandchildren: Saleynah Baker, Ava Wolford, Mayya Jewett, Olivia Alexander and Kinsley Alexander and his siblings Rejina (Butcher) Velez Montalvo, Brenda (Butcher) Moorehead, Larry Butcher, Janet (Butcher) Rigsby (Dr. Rick Rigsby), David Butcher (Rose Butcher), and Erica (Butcher) Geneus (Greg Geneus), his great uncle Cecil Tabler, his uncle Rev. John Butcher and aunt Ada Woodson Adams.

Robby has many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews who brought him joy. He loved when they called him “Uncle Rob,” and was a little disappointed when their height surpassed his. Though this was frequently the case, as many of them towered over him and loved rubbing the bald spot on the top of his head to his dismay. If only they knew him in the 1970s, when he had a twelve-inch afro and wore bell bottom jeans and Dutch clogs. It was not as easy to be taller than him then. If we measure height according to passion, Roby was taller than everyone else in his family, at least that is the way his sister Erica would describe him.  

A graveside service celebrating Robby’s life will be held at noon on Saturday, October 23 at the Coolville Cemetery off of Brimstone Road in Coolville, OH. In lieu of flowers, donations would be welcomed by the family. For further instructions on donations, please contact Robby’s daughter, Shuntell Alexander of Canal Winchester, OH or his brother David Butcher of Stewart, OH. Arrangements are by Hughes-Moquin Funeral Home where you may send a message of sympathy to the family at www.hughesmoquinfuneralhome.com.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Coolville Fairview Cemetery

, Coolville, OH 45723

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