1928 – 2022
Hugh Burton Butrick, 94, passed away on March 29, 2022, in his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Hugh was born March 8, 1928, in Stanberry, Missouri, the son of George Willis Butrick and Lula Mae (Fults) Butrick. He attended the Stanberry elementary public schools and graduated from Stanberry High School in 1947.
Growing up, Hugh made at least one trip to the West Coast to help with the fruit harvest in Medford, Oregon. During this or another trip, he drove a car with his buddy until the car finally gave out, and they then pushed the then useless car over a cliff.
In 1948, Hugh enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, stating that he was going to have at least some say as to how he served his country.
Hugh met Lucille Marie Schlenker in Stanberry after she had traveled with family and friends from North Dakota to Stanberry to attend a church campmeeting conference. This began a journey that spanned more than 70 years together. Hugh and Lucille were married August 7, 1949, and made their home in Ogden, Utah, where Hugh was stationed in the Air Force.
Together, they had one daughter, Vicki, who was born also while Hugh was stationed in Utah. Not long after this, he was on orders to go to Japan. On his way there, three days out to sea in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hugh made the most important decision of his life: He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
When stationed in Japan on the base where the Japanese had previously trained its kamikaze pilots, Hugh was baptized. He associated with various ministries and worked as an office clerk, eventually becoming chief clerk. After four years of service and choosing not to make the military a career, Hugh was honorably discharged from the Air Force, and the new family moved to North Dakota.
For seven years, Hugh ran Butrick’s Dry Cleaners in Kulm, North Dakota. It was during this time that he received and answered the call to go into the ministry. He sold his business and returned home to Stanberry in 1959 with his family. There he attended the Church of God (Seventh Day)’s Midwest Bible College.
In 1961, after graduating, Hugh became pastor of the Church of God (Seventh Day) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was there for eleven years and pastored that church on three different occasions. Hugh also pastored several other churches, including Las Cruces, New Mexico; Eureka, South Dakota; Kansas City, Missouri; St. Paul, Minnesota; Claremore, Oklahoma; and Albuquerque and Roswell, New Mexico.
In addition to serving on a three-month missions trip in the 1960s to Ethiopia, Egypt, Israel, and Germany (including East Germany), Hugh visited the brethren in the Philippines in the 1990s. He would lead the song and worship, occasionally played his accordion, sang duets with his beloved wife, Lucille, with their daughter, Vicki, singing along on the piano.
Hugh faithfully served the Lord and the Church for more than 70 years and was the most patient and friendly man you could ever know. These qualities proved useful while he tended to the issues and concerns of those Christian brothers and sisters he shepherded.
Hugh would come at once if there was a need, because he loved the brethren, but he would also confront sin directly and forcefully. He knew that any good he did was because the Lord had given him the right words to say or the right things to do at the right time, and it was the Lord who gave the victory and the increase. Of going into the ministry, he often said, “I did it for the Lord.”
Nothing was more important to Hugh than his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. To the very end, he had a passion and fervor for being the Lord’s ambassador and seeing lives changed.
This is not the end. We have the certain hope that we will both see Hugh again in a resurrected and perfect body when the Lord returns, and have the honor of spending eternity with him and all those of the household of faith.
Hugh is survived by his daughter, Vicki Butrick; grandson John; one brother and one sister, John and Mary; numerous nieces and nephews; and countless other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and two brothers and three sisters: Willis, Earl, Margaret, Shirley, and Gayle.