Sunday, October 29, 2023
1:00 - 5:00 PM
4520 Capilano Road, North Vancouver, BC
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January 24, 1951 – September 24, 2023
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Roderick Wilfred Butler who lived life on his own terms right to the end. Survived and profoundly missed by his daughter Alexandra (Lexie) Butler, son-in-law Kevin Monchamp, three sisters and brothers-in-law, Diane (Dick) Wiseman, Pam (Leo) Sachs, and Elaine (Beto) Enriquez, sister-in-law Anne, as well as much loved niece and nephews: Jason, Jeremy, Joshua, Jennifer, Geoffrey, Craig, Roderick, Michael, Ashleigh and Jared, the Higgs family, and so many wonderful friends near and far that were like family. Rod was born on January 24, 1951 to Betty (nee Vincent) Butler and Wilfred Eugene Butler in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Rod passed peacefully in North Vancouver, British Columbia on September 24, 2023 surrounded by loving family and friends. Predeceased by his parents, older brothers Douglas (1999) and Frederick (1946); Rod dreamed they were present, to bring him to the other side.
The youngest of six children, we believe our amazing brother Rod, to be the smartest and most industrious of our siblings. As a very young child, Rod had the ability to disassemble and reassemble anything mechanical. Traditional education was not Rod’s path and he would comment that he was "not cut out for academia.” What appeared to be a weakness was actually Rod’s strength. He had the ability to see situations and problems multi-dimensionally and problem solve through all. Nothing was cookie cutter about Rod; he could do anything.
Rod began his career as a mechanic at the Colonial Garage in St.John’s NL. moving on to Navy Diving Training in Nova Scotia, and then trained at the Commercial Diving Centre in Anaheim, California. Rod was hired by CanDive in the mid ‘70s, where he began a career as a saturation diver; a career he loved and to the end of his life, regaled all with his stories about diving in the North Sea, Norway, Arctic, Nunavut, Tuktuyaaqttuuq, and the Beaufort Sea. Rod was grateful to Phil Nuytton for that opportunity and Rod talked with utmost respect and admiration about all of his diving colleagues to the point that we believed we knew each of you personally because he spoke of you individually so often.
After years of diving, (and to his mother’s great relief), Rod retired from diving in 1985 and his mechanics training got him an opportunity to work for an accounting firm on a bankruptcy. With Rod’s varied talents he was given more opportunities and thus continued with insolvency work for a number of major Vancouver accounting firms while also starting Butler Box & Storage which he sold in 2000. For the past 23 years Rod has focused primarily on insolvency work resulting in so many incredibly valued friends and memories along the way.
Rod held a deep love for his family including beloved black labs Max and MaxII; loyal, kind and funny, Rod especially loved his daughter Alexandra. She was a blessing to Rod and from the day she was born, he was in love and loved his daughter with every fibre of his being. Rod was an amazing and tender-hearted father who spent his life teaching Alexandra so many things; how to make waffles and soup, how to build things – including a 3-bedroom cardboard house, as well as making a toy box together using power tools (at the age of 5). He shared his love of animals and nature, taught her how to drive, and above all, shared his kindness and sense of humour. Rod devoted his life to Alexandra, spending time together on many a movie marathon, or travelling to Newfoundland or Wales, and teaching her all he knew. Alexandra was so important to Rod that, despite Dr.’s prognosis, he kept himself alive longer than Dr.'s expected, to ensure he was here to see her married and launched in her career. He was an amazing father who has left an indelible mark.
With everyone, Rod was hardworking and generous to a fault; dependable and “didn’t know a stranger.” Rod loved people and if you were his friend, it was a life-long friendship. Rod will be remembered for his outgoing personality, inclusiveness, quick wit, and hilarious sense of humour. Rod will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends around the world.
We would like to thank everyone who stopped by or called, or emailed, or texted. this past week. He left this world feeling very well loved. We would also like to thank all of the staff at North Shore Hospice for their kindness and support during the final days of Rod’s life. You are true angels.
Although Rod spent much of his life in Vancouver, Rod loved Newfoundland and the water, and his wishes are to return there. Before he makes this final journey we will celebrate his incredible life. Celebration of Life will be held on October 29, 2023 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, at 4520 Capilano Road, North Vancouver, BC.
Death leaves a heartache that no one can heal,
Love leaves memories that no one can steal.