Born on June 29, 1920 in Worcester City Hospital, he was a son the late Walter G. and Mabel E. (Parker) Butler. In 1938, he graduated from the former North High School and then earned his Bachelor's degree from Amherst College in 1942 with a degree in Psychology. He honorably served his country in the United States Navy enlisting on July 8, 1942.
Doug served aboard the USS Massachusetts Battleship during World War II. His career with the Navy spanned over 40 years, and he retired from active service as Lieutenant Commander in 1946 and from the Navy reserves in 1985. On April 4, 1946 in Riverside, California, he married Virginia Knox, an airline stewardess with United Airlines, and the couple moved to New York City.
In New York City, Doug worked for National Broadcasting Company at Rockefeller Center creating promotional materials about Radio City. An invitation to return home to his native Worcester to work in the family business, Butler Paper Company in 1949 brought them to residency in Holden. In 1978, he became president of Butler-Dearden Paper Co. and enjoyed retirement in 1986. In earlier professional years, he served as board chairman for many years of the Better Business Bureau, local and regional head of the National Paper Sales Organization, membership in the Regional and National Paper Trade Association, Board of Directors at the former Consumers Bank. He was a founding member of Northcourt Tennis and Swim Club, Director of Preservation Worcester and served as a historical guide for Worcester County.
Doug lived in Northborough for almost 30 years, where he was served on its Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, and enjoyed membership in its Historical Society. He moved to the Southgate community in 1986.
From a young age, Doug had a keen interest in music. He played saxophone, clarinet and piano. He later learned to play the organ and, in honor of his 93rd birthday, he donated his prized Hammond organ to Tuckerman Hall as a gift to the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra.
Doug enjoyed membership at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, Worcester Art Museum, Hanover Theater, Amherst College Alumni, and the American Red Cross.
His wife, Virginia, died Dec. 31, 1995 and he was predeceased by his only sibling, Janice Harwood, in 2000. He leaves his children, Richard K. Butler and his wife Kathi of Northborough and Carol A. Butler and her husband Ray Lockwood of Natick; his grandchildren, Stephanie Lee Butler and Nicholas P. Butler; his great-grandson, Noah Butler; and nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will honor and remember Doug's life by gathering for calling hours Wednesday, March 19, from 4 – 7 p.m., at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors ~ The Sumner House, 5 Church Road, On the Common, Shrewsbury Center, and again Thursday morning in the First Congregational Church, 19 Church Rd., Shrewsbury, where his funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Rev. Lynne Dolan will officiate. Private burial will take place in Howard Street Cemetery of Northborough.
Memorials in his name may be made to Tower Hill Botanic Garden, PO Box 598, 11 French Dr., Boylston, MA 01505.