Shirley Butler

Shirley Bernice Butler

1934 - 2023

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Obituary of Shirley Bernice Butler

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Shirley Bernice Butler entered into heaven in Tulsa, OK on 6/15/2023.  She is survived by her two sons, Steve Butler and wife Geannei of Houson, TX and Roger Butler of Dallas, TX; granddaughter Heather Fox and husband Mike Fox, and great-grandchildren Aubrey and Tyler, of Gentry, AR; and brothers Richard, Ron,  David, and Dan Archer.  She was preceded to heaven by her husband of 70 years Jimmie Butler, her brother Sherman, and her three sisters Barbara, Mary, and Linda.  

Shirley was born in Sperry, OK on 7/3/1934 to Bessie and Warren Archer.  She was always a very active and loving child, often looking after her 5 younger siblings in the home at the time, along with older sister Barbara's help of course.  She lived with her family on their very busy dairy farm, and like all of the children she had many responsibilities during the regular daily activities of a dairy farm, including milking and feeding the cows.  Even so, she was able to attend school without fail and was an excellent and hard-working student.  She met the love of her life and soulmate, Jimmie, when she was 15 years old and they married on 2/3/1951.  Many young brides in those days would stop going to school to stay at home and run the household, but not Shirley.  She completed her studies and graduated from high school with Jimmie’s support.

Jimmie was drafted into the army shortly after their marriage and the couple moved to Ft Bliss in El Paso, TX, where they lived until Jimmie's discharge in 1953.  They then settled in Tulsa and started a family after the birth of their first son, Steve, in 1955.  Roger followed soon after in 1958.  They lived in Tulsa until 1968, when they moved 30 miles to the northeastern Oklahoma town of Oologah.  One year later, Shirley started working as an administrative assistant at Oologah Public School until her retirement 23 years later.  Shirley was beloved at the school for her unfailing spirit, her kindness, and her dedication to the students and co-workers.  

Even with such a busy schedule, she had plenty of time to enjoy her family and the activities that she loved.  She spearheaded many weekend trips to the lake and was an expert slalom water skier.  She loved the camping life, and was just as enthusiastic as any of the men in the family when it came to planning the next camping trip.  She loved to travel, and visited many interesting and amazing places with her husband and sons.  In 1981, Jimmie and Shirley became grandparents when their granddaughter, Heather, was born. Shirley had always wanted a little girl to dress up and do girly things with and now she had her. Heather gave Shirley the name “Granina” when she was 2 years old and the name stuck (even eventually continuing on with Heather’s children, Aubrey and Tyler, who shortened the name to “Nina”). Jimmie and Shirley took Heather on many trips, including vacations in Hawaii, trips to New York City, Washington, D.C., and countless adventures in Branson where Granina would make sure Heather got autographs and pictures with all of the male performers she thought were cute. Shirley loved discovering new and exciting places, and sharing her excitement with family members and loved ones.  After retirement, traveling was truly a way of life for the couple.  They were initially avid RVers until they discovered cruising, and have gone on an estimated 150 Royal Caribbean cruises. One of their favorite things to do on a cruise was eating dinner at the Captain’s table.  The couple moved from Oologah to the Montereau Retirement Center in Tulsa in 2015.

Shirley was a devout Christian and was an inspiration to all that knew and loved her.  She and her family were members of the Church of the Open Door in Tulsa, where she was an active member of the choir. She had a beautiful soprano singing voice and had many inspiring solos as part of various church services.  At the time of her passing, she was a member of the Woodland Acres Baptist Church in Tulsa.  She loved to spread the Word to all that would listen.  Through the grace of God, she survived an EF-5 tornado that leveled much of Oologah in April 1991.  Shirley was in the home alone that night while Jimmie was working a night shift.  She took cover in the interior bathroom with nothing but blankets and pillows over her head, and prayed while the house around her was being virtually destroyed.  She survived without a scratch, and Shirley always proclaimed enthusiastically and loudly for the rest of her life that the only way that she was able to survive was through God's love and grace.  Through the entire ordeal she had her portable radio with her so that she could track the storm's progress.  Right as the tornado was passing over, the radio mysteriously changed stations, and the song that was playing was "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus."  She remembered holding the headphones to her ears and singing along as loudly as she could. This sentinel event changed Shirley's life forever.  She knew that her faith in God was so strong that he saved her life that night, so that she would be able to share her testimony of His Love with others.  

Shirley was beloved by everyone that knew her for her positive spirit, her unconditional love of her family, and the example that she set for everyone that knew her.  She was a true role model, a positive life force that influenced countless lives.  She never met a stranger and she always wanted to find out about the lives of everyone that she came into contact with.  She was the consummate wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and aunt.  Although she has departed from this earth, the impact that she has had on so many hearts will live on.

A memorial service will be held at Ninde Funeral Home, Tulsa on June 27, 2023 at 11:00 am.

Ninde Brookside, 918-742-5556,


Memorial Service

11:00 am
Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Ninde Brookside Chapel
3841 S. Peoria
Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
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Shirley Butler

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Shirley Butler

1934 - 2023

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