“A friend to students and learning”
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Dr. William Edward Butler, age 70, of South Portland, Maine passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 7.
Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010, Bill was able to spend his final days at home under the loving care of his family. Bill was born in Weymouth in 1944 to John Norman and Margaret Connors Butler. He attended Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree, where he excelled academically and as the co–captain of the hockey team. Following high school, he attended Providence College, earning a full academic scholarship, and ultimately a bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 1961. Advanced degrees followed, with a Master’s of Education from Boston State College and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Purdue University. Bill dedicated his career to education, serving in school systems in Maine, New York and Massachusetts for over 35 years. He served as the Assistant Principal at Waterville High School in Waterville, Maine and later at Our Lady of Nazareth Academy in Wakefield. His first assignment as principal came at Granville Junior-Senior High School in Granville, N.Y.
The pinnacle of Bill’s career was certainly his time as the Principal of North Reading High School, (1981–1998), where he served 16 and a half years, earning the Outstanding Principal of the Year Award in 1993 from his peers at the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association. He also dedicated personal time to the community of North Reading serving as a member of Saint Theresa Parish Pastoral Council and as an active member of the Citizens’ Scholarship Foundation. Throughout his life, Bill personified integrity, promoted service to the greater good and demonstrated ultimate dedication to his family and closest friends.
When Bill retired as Principal of NRHS in March of 1998, over 150 well wishers attended his retirement celebration held in North Reading High School. At the end of the tributes, a plaque was unveiled which since that day has graced the school’s courtyard: “Dr. William E. Butler, North Reading High School Principal, 1981–1998. A friend to students and learning.”
When the appropriate time comes, a place of honor will be found for that plaque in the new high school, according to Superintendent–elect Jon Bernard, also Principal of NRHS for the last 11 years.
Bill is survived by his wife Connie, currently residing in South Portland, Maine; his daughter Christine “CC” Moynihan and her husband Dan, who live in North Kingstown, R.I. with their children Molly, Owen and Finn; his son William “Rob” Butler and his wife Gina who live in Newport, R.I. with their son Wilkes. Bill is also survived by his brother Shaun Butler and his wife Mary of Bluffton, S.C.; his sister Mary Ellen Fitzgerald, who resides in their childhood home in East Weymouth, and his brother Norm Butler and his wife Sheila of Barnstable.
Bill’s funeral was held in the McDonald Keohane Funeral Home, South Weymouth Saturday, Oct. 11, prior to a funeral Mass in St. Albert the Great Church, Weymouth. Burial was in Fairmount Cemetery, Weymouth.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bill may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown MA 02472 or www.alz.org.