Official Website of the U.S. Marine Raider Association & Foundation

Select Page

Obituaries > BUTLER, SHIRL P., JR.

Reverend Shirl Pollock Butler, Jr. born on June 9, 1925, in Fort Smith, Arkansas to Shirl and Mabel Butler of Spiro, Oklahoma, passed away Friday, November 26, 2010, at the Claremore Oklahoma Veteran’s Center. Shirl graduated from Shawnee High School and was awarded his high school diploma in 1944, while on duty in the South Pacific. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oklahoma University in 1949, and a Master of Divinity degree from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1965. Shirl was a United States Marine Corps Raider during World War II. He enlisted in 1942, at the age of 17, and was assigned to the 4th Raider Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Provisional Battalion, 6th Marine Division. He participated in campaigns at Vangunu, New Georgia, Enogai Inlet, Bairoko, Guadaki, Guam, Okinawa and the occupation of Japan. He was a twice wounded battle tested warrior and said “the real heroes are still on the beaches and in the jungles” of the South Pacific after giving their lives so others may live. Following the War and graduation from Oklahoma University, Reverend Butler worked as an electrician, business equipment salesman, and owned and operated a Drive-In theater. He was very active during his professional career and served as a Tulsa Mayor’s aid, executive director for the Lawton Model Cities program, and as an assistant urban studies professor at Oklahoma University. After graduation from Seminary, Reverend Butler served as pastor and interim pastor in seven Presbyterian churches in Oklahoma, Alaska and New Zealand. The Christian ministry was the most important and fulfilling portion of his life. He was particularly proud of his many years of service as the Chaplain or “Padre” for the United States Marine Corps Raider Association. He was married to Vandetta S. Butler, Tulsa, and has five children: David Michael (Sally), Flagstaff, AZ, Shelley Dawn Allen (Richard), Tahlequah, Jana Lynne Rhoads, Tulsa, Jeff Wayne Harris, Winterhaven, FL, Lisa Ann Harris Zachary (Douglas), Garland, TX. He has eleven grandchildren: Dawn Michelle Butler, Kristin Julia Connywerdy (Kevin), Alison Lynne Daniels (Greg), Natalie Julene Rhoads, Derek Christopher Harris, Mary Megan Allen, Emma Lea Allen, Lindsey Beth Zachary, Kaitlyn Brooke Zachary, Nathaniel Conrad Zachary, and Scott Cameron Zachary and five great-grandchildren. Following a viewing Tuesday from 1-8 p.m., at the Musgrove-Merriott-Smith funeral home in Claremore, a memorial service will be held Wednesday, December 1st, at 4 p.m., at the Tulsa College Hill Presbyterian Church in Tulsa. Final Interment will be in the Arlington National Cemetery. The family requests that in lieu of flowers a donation to the National Parkinson’s Foundation or charity of their choice be made in Reverend Butler’s name.