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Edward (Big Ed) H. Butts Jr. Final Glide

Edward H. Butts Jr. passed away March 28, 2004. He was born in St. Augustine on May 16, 2004. He had a distinguished military career as a pilot starting with the Army Air Corps and continuing with the U.S. Air Force spanning 24 years. He flew B-17s in World War II and C-47s in the Korean War. He was assigned to the B-52 program at Edwards Air Force Base in the 1950s. He requested his last assignment to be in the state of Idaho as liaison officer to the Civil Air Patrol. He was stationed in Twin Falls, Idaho, and retired in 1967.

The following 25 years, he pursued a career in real estate and home building. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed fishing and hunting, but his favorite pastime was flying/racing sailplanes. He started flying sailplanes in the late 1940s in Florida. While stationed at Edwards AFB, he met other sailplane enthusiasts at the famed glider ports of El Mirage and Crystal Aire and developed friendships with soaring pioneers such Paul Bikle, Gus Brigleb, and Dick Johnson. His soaring highlights include U.S. Team Captain at the World Championships held in Great Britain in 1965. In addition, he served as competition director at the World Championships held in Marfa, Texas, in 1970 and as competition director of the Smirnoff U.S. Transcontinental Sailplane Race from 1972-1976.

The last 10 years of his life were spent in St. Augustine enjoying retirement, fishing and watching his grandchildren grow up. He will be greatly missed. He was preceded in death by his father, Edward H. Butts Sr., and his mother Gertrude Sabate Pumphrey. His is survived by his wife of 46 years, Shuku Butts; his children, Charles Butts, Marcella Butts, Sara Wilson, Raymond Butts, Anna Sabate, Sally Butts; and his grandchildren, Dillon, Shelby, Stephanie, Elizabeth, Gabriel and Elijah.

Posted: 4/1/2004


Final Glide 

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