Obituary of James Archer Butler
James Archer Butler, age 77, resident of Pulaski, passed away Monday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. James was born November 10, 1942, in Fulton, NY to Maxwell and Margaret Butler. He was raised and graduated from Pulaski Academy in 1961. James attended college at Fredonia, and later Murray State where he pursued a music career. Jim was a talented trombone player which took him on the road at the age off 22. He joined the Salt City Six band and he toured throughout the US.
In 1968, he entered into the 724th Air Force band in Europe, where his first assignment was in Cardiff Wales. Jim participated with many military bands for the Royal Tattoo, Cardiff Castle. This is where he met his wife and were married.
Together they traveled to Germany and had their son and he continued to serve. He was assigned to play throughout Europe notably playing the first Peace Summit where Nixon and Russian diplomats were present. Jim spent 4 years overseas, later returning to Washington State. His time spend in the Air Force afforded opportunities to live throughout the United States from Alaska to California, and back to his home town. Jim was forced to retire at 43 from the Air Force due to health problems in 1985. He continued his love of playing as he joined Gene Mayl's band the Dixieland Rhythm Kings. This took him back on the road playing at various festivals, riverboats, and back to Europe. He also played locally with Elmer James Dixieland Band, and played at Pine Tree Resort in the summers at Alexandria Bay where he discovered his joy of singing. He was privileged to play with some notable musicians. He would often reminiscence about recording and producing records with founding member of what was the Salt City 5 at the time, Wild Bill Davidson. He was also proud to say he played with the famous Pete Fountain and Bob Havens know for the Lawrence Welk Show. Locally, he played with Will Alger who he succeeded into the Salt City 6 band.
Jim also enjoyed reading, golfing and making music compilations for Leo Rayhill, who had a jazz show on WRVO Jazz station in Syracuse. Leo loved his vast knowledge and collection of music. He was president of the Pulaski Library board, and he volunteered at the Historical Society where he made a lasting impression on anybody who knew him. He also loved his many pets, spending time with his grand-daughter who shared his loved of music and Sunday mornings with his grandson Maxwell.
He is survived by his wife Linda Coughlan Butler of Pulaski (formerly of Cardiff Wales), with whom he would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this May. His son Mark (Jenn) Butler of Pulaski, his daughter, Catherine (Nello) Mastracco of Clay, NY, his grand-daughter Shea and his grandson Maxwell. Jim also leaves behind a brother, Tom aka Tomsely (Bev) Butler, along with their daughter Jody (Tim) Quint of NC. He also leaves behind cousins and friends he made at the Streamside Golf Course. He loved his fellow bandmates he made along the way, who were also considered his family. He was a giving person, and when his grand-daughter was born he sponsored a child in Guatemala who is now 17 named Yamalica. He will be missed. He was predeceased by his parents and nephew Tom Butler.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, January 11th at the Foster-Hax Funeral Home, 52 Park Street, Pulaski with burial at the convenience of the family. Calling hours will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday prior to the funeral.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516 or United Friends of Homeless Animals, 432 Centerville Rd, Richland, NY 13144.