Raymond E. "Sonny" Butler, 75, of Granger, our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle and friend passed away on Monday, June 21, 2010, at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.
Raymond received his early education in Michigan and Ohio.
On Nov. 27, 1953 he married Jean Cheshier in Bakersfield, Calif.
Raymond was trained as a draftsman by the U.S. Navy in China Lake, Calif.
The Butler family moved to the Lower Valley area in 1955.
Raymond took tool fabrication courses in Yakima and was a certified Forest Ranger for the state of Washington. Raymond worked for various warehouses in the Valley but primarily for Welchs in Prosser. He also drove truck for Fairchild Freight and Easley Trucking Company before starting his own trucking business, Ray and Jean Trucking. Due to failing health Raymond was forced to retire.
He enjoyed farming, raising peaches, cherries, pears, collecting coins, telling funny stories, fishing, playing baseball and in his younger years played in the Triple A League and racing cars at Sunny Grand Speed Way.
He was a past member of the Toppenish and Sunnyside Moose and Eagles. Raymond's family above all was the most important in his life and he cherished every moment spent with his grandchildren and was very proud of them all.
He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Jean Butler of Granger; two daughters, Nora Butler of Yakima and Carla Stoops of Zillah; three sons, Steven Butler of Granger, Mitchell of Kansas and Kerry (Kristina) Butler of Phoenix, Ariz.; nine grandchildren; seven great- grandchildren; four brothers, Butch, Gary, Carl and Earl; and five sisters, Sharon, Cheryl, Sandy, Linda and Pat.
He was preceded in death by two daughters, Jennie Raylene Butler and Deborah Kay Butler; two brothers, Davey and Allen; and three sisters, Emma, Rita and Jeannie.
Viewing and visitation will be held today, June 24, 2010, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Graveside services will be held Friday, June 25, 2010, at 3 p.m. at Zillah Cemetery in Zillah.
Those wishing to honor his memory may contribute love gifts to his family.
Those wishing to share their memories or sign Raymond's online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomemsith.com
Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.