Lowell Leroy Butler

December 5, 1940

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February 24, 2021

Lowell Leroy Butler

December 5, 1940

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February 24, 2021

Lowell L. Butler passed away due to complications from MS, surrounded by his loving family, on Feb. 24, 2021. He was 80 years old. Lowell born on Dec. 5, 1940, in Miles City, to Howard Butler and Ella (Brikholz). He was an intelligent, kind man, with a wry sense of humor. His early years were spent in the Custer area, where he learned hard work on the family ranch.

When the cattle market hit a rough patch, the family moved to Billings and he graduated from Senior High in 1957. With encouragement of family and friends, Lowell attended Eastern Montana College for two years while working full time at a local truck repair shop. He joined the Army to save money, and his last station was at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. After the three-year stint, Lowell moved to Bozeman and earned a chemical engineering degree from Montana State University.

While teaching bridge during college, he met the love of his life, Kathy Brown, who was getting her degree in secondary education. They were married for 55 wonderful years. The day after the wedding in 1965, they moved to Midland, Michigan, where Lowell worked for Dow Chemical and helped develop “Scrubbing Bubbles.”

Lowell and Kathy moved to Billings in 1969, where they raised their family. Lowell thoroughly enjoyed working at Exxon for 33 years. He had many engineering roles, though he especially liked programming computers and staying abreast of new technology. He made many good friends at the Refinery. Lowell led an active life. He became a Life Master in competitive bridge in 1977. Lowell was an active member and became the Worshipful Master of the Rimrock Masonic Lodge. Lowell and Kathy loved to camp with family and friends in their 19’ Prowler trailer. Lowell enjoyed fishing, hunting, golfing and skiing, and passed on those passions to his children. In the mid ’80s, Lowell joined the Shrine Black Horse Patrol and, for 30 years, was active member. He became Captain and immensely enjoyed riding his horse in parades all across the area. The BHP was a wonderful social organization and they traveled and won many Shrine competitions in the Northwest. Lowell enjoyed a few good years of golf and travel after retirement and cruised to Alaska and floated the Nile and saw the pyramids. However, as his MS progressed, his original retirement plans changed and he spent the last seven years in assisted living, though he never complained about his situation.

Lowell loved and cherished his family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents. Lowell was an only child. He is survived by his wife, Kathy Butler; son Howard (Mona) Butler, Billings; daughter Heather (Nick) Modroo, Bozeman; and grandchildren Mason and Brooke Butler and Reeve Modroo.

Memorials may be sent the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America.

Visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave., with the funeral at 11 a.m. Monday, March 1, at the First Presbyterian Church, 2420 13th St. West, followed by a reception and light lunch. Burial will be at 3 p.m. at the Custer Cemetery.

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4 thoughts on “Lowell Leroy Butler”

  1. I worked at the ExxonMobil Refinery with Lowell for many years. He was a warm, knowledgeable person, always a pleasure to work with. Please accept my condolences for your loss.

  2. So sorry, Kathy. I knew Lowell at the Exxon refinery for about 3 years before leaving for ten years on loan assignments to Houston and the Netherlands and retiring in 1982. I’m 100 years old now and seldom see anything about the old crew at the refinery. Being a Mechanical Engr. I worked in a different Dept. than Lowell. Always liked Lowell. Very nice obituary.

  3. Kathy & Family: Our sympathy to you and your family. He was my boss when I worked in the Lab at the ExxonMobil Refinery, and I found him to be very congenial an easy to work for. (Helen Blee). Lowell was a super nice person
    and always had a very positive attitude. Our thoughts and prayers are with
    you at this time. Ralph & Helen Blee

  4. Kathy and Family, we are saddened to learn of Lowell’s passing. I worked with Lowell for many years at the refinery. He was well respected for his ability to solve product quality problems. We didn’t always like his answers for solutions, but his answers were almost always the right ones. There were many complex problems awaiting a resolution.
    We hope that over time you will recover from this loss.
    Joe & Laney Templet

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