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August 15, 1942 - November 19, 2015
Larry E. Butcher, 73, Kearney, Missouri, died following a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer on November 19, 2015, at Kansas City Hospice House.
Larry was born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1942 to Albert E. Butcher and Dorothy C. Butcher, both of whom predeceased him, as did his older brother Jack.
Larry is survived by his wife of thirty-two years, Julie A. Butcher of the home; sons Brent A. Butcher (Sylvia), San Diego; Blaine E. Butcher (Rebecca), San Diego; and Brandon G. Butcher (Shelly), Kansas City; younger sister Nancy L. Thompson of Denver; three grandchildren, Matthew, Aidan and Maia Butcher, and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Larry grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, graduating from Wyandotte High School in 1960, and from Kansas University in 1964 with a B.S. in Business Administration. He was a member of Phi Kappa Tau social fraternity and Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity.
Following graduation from K.U. Larry became a sales representative for Black & Decker, selling industrial power tools to the automotive, aircraft and construction industries in Kansas and western Missouri.
After two years in sales Larry entered U.M.K.C. Law School in 1966. By this time he had married Peggy Green (Wyandotte, 1962). While at U.M.K.C. he served on, and was a twice published member of the U.M.K.C. Law Review staff. He was elected President of the Student Bar Association, was a member of Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity, and was a member of the law school’s three-student national moot court team. Larry graduated from law school in 1969, standing fourth in his class. His academic performance at U.M.K.C. earned him membership in that school’s honor society, The Order of Bench and Robe.
Following law school graduation, Larry and Peggy moved to Washington, D.C. where he qualified for the Honor Graduate Program as a trial attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In his three years at Justice Larry prosecuted and won over twenty federal felony cases from San Diego to Miami, argued appeals in several of the United States Courts of Appeal, and worked on several briefs for filing in the United States Supreme Court. He was admitted to practice in Missouri and Florida, and before the United States Supreme Court.
In 1972 Larry returned to Kansas City to go into private practice. For many years he was mentored by, and learned a great deal from, top tier Kansas City trial lawyer George O’Laughlin. Larry later served as corporate counsel for Southwestern Bell and did some railroad injury work.
During the 1980s Larry served as Vice President and General Counsel for Cameron Mutual Insurance Co., and was in private practice in Kearney from 1990 until his retirement in 2014. In that year the Clay County Bar Association recognized him with its award honoring him as Outstanding Member of the Clay County Bar for his many years of distinguished legal service to the community.
Larry served as the Municipal Judge for the City of Kearney from 1994 until his death. During that time he held membership on several Boards of Directors, including: Jesse James Festival, Inc.; Friends of the James Farm; INNOVATION, a Planned Business Community in Kearney; and the Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges Association. He served as President of that state-wide judicial association in 2005-2006, and he was the recipient of the group’s highest honor in 2013, The George Pittman Award. He was only the sixth judge in the twenty-year history of the award to receive it. He was also appointed by the Supreme Court of Missouri in 2007 to serve on that Court’s Municipal Judge Education Committee. Larry served for several years on that committee, teaching judicial basics to new incoming judges. He also taught many courses in judicial ethics and current case law for the state judges association.
Larry was a fellow of several talents, especially when working with his hands. He was an accomplished draftsman, and he designed and drew the plans for his country home and its related out buildings in Kearney. Larry was an enthusiastic auto mechanic repairing and replacing the engines and drive trains in several of his boats, trucks and cars. Yard work on his acreage was always a favorite pastime, utilizing one of the two old Ford tractors he had fully restored. With a wide assortment of tools, trailers and vehicles, Larry was often helping friends and neighbors with projects of theirs as well.
In addition to caring greatly about his family, clients and friends, Larry enjoyed NASCAR and he always rooted for the consistently steady Kearney Bulldogs, the Chiefs, the Royals, and his beloved Kansas Jayhawks. He was a member of the Kearney Lions Club, the Clay County and Missouri Bar Associations and was a member of First United Methodist Church.
Larry will be dearly missed by friends and family alike, as well as by his faithful little dog, Bailie. The family wishes to thank Dr. David Nagourney of the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Sarah Taylor, Dr. Heather Cunningham and Dr. Lindsey Prochaska of the K.U. Cancer Center for their medical care.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Kansas City Hospice House & Palliative Care, 12000 Wornall Rd. Kansas City, MO 64145.
Visitation is will be 1-3p.m. Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at Kearney United Methodist Church 1000 E St Hwy 92 Kearney, MO 64060. A Memorial Service will commence at 3:00 p.m. immediately following the visitation. Private inurnment will take place at a later date.