May 24, 2014

William Edward Butler

— William “Bill” Edward Butler was born on July 18, 1970, in Atlanta and died in Bozeman, Mont., on May 13, 2014.

He graduated from Dalton High School and the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va. Commissioned into the U.S. Marines in 1993 as second lieutenant, Bill completed Ranger and Airborne School the following year graduating second in his class. He served in Liberia, Africa; and Haiti protecting the U.S. Embassy. After serving in the Marines, in 2001 he secured his MBA from Fordham University in New York City. Attending to his favorite career aspiration, Bill graduated from the Western Culinary School in Portland, Ore. Later he was employed as a military contractor in Afghanistan. After leaving Afghanistan, he managed the dining and catering services on three military bases in Stuttgart, Germany.

Bill met his beloved wife Lydia Lien in Salzburg on a study abroad program when they were seniors in college. They were married on Naushon Island, Mass., in 2005 and returned to Germany where their son Axel was born in 2008. With a dream of starting his own restaurant and settling in the West, they moved to Bozeman in 2011.

Bill built a restaurant based on creating authentic Italian cuisine. This became Pizza Campania designed with special touches to reflect the history and surrounding region of Bozeman. This included the remodeled granary, the bar made from beetle-killed pine and bricks from the Lehrkind Brewery.

Bill relished the out of doors. He swam and played soccer in his youth, camped in the Smoky Mountains and rafted and kayaked in the Ocoee River of Tennessee and Deschutes of Oregon. He skied and hiked in the Alps and the Bridgers with his wife Lydia and son Axel. Moving to Bozeman was a place where Bill and his family could enjoy their passions.

Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken” had a profound influence on Bill’s life. It ends

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I

I took the one less traveled by

And that made all the difference”

When he read that poem right before heading off to VMI, he told his sister Beverly that he too would always choose to take the road less traveled and so he did. Always ready to step out of his comfort zone, ready for new challenges and always with determination, optimism, and high spirits. While that proved to be the case, and while all too short, he traveled that road so very well — and in wonderful company.

May Bill’s spirit continue to soar.

Bill is survived by his wife Lydia; son, Axel; his parents Edward and Roberta Butler; his sister, Beverly (Butler) LaVoi; as well as beloved uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces.

A memorial is planned for June 13 at 2:30 p.m. in Dalton at Christ the King Lutheran Church. The family will be in the library of the church one hour before service to greet friends.

A memorial fund has been established for his son Axel at Edward Jones Financial Services, Edward Jones FBO Axel Butler, 424 E. Main St., Suite 202-C Bozeman, MT 59715.

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