10761 Bank Street
Clinton, LA 70722
Phone: 225-654-4480
Fax: 225-683-8559
Hilton Butler

Hilton Butler

Friday, May 31st, 1929 - Sunday, December 16th, 2018
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Obituary

Robert Hilton Butler, Sr. , of Woodville, Mississippi, passed away on December 16, 2018 at the age of 89.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Omah Borden Butler; his 3 daughters, Brenda Priddy (Jim), Sue Evans, and Patti Varner (Kendal); his daughter in law, Cydney Lee Butler, his brother, Curtis Butler (Betty); his grandchildren, Amy Priddy, Sam (Jaimie) Priddy, Robbie Peavy, Jim (Trudy) Peavy, Jeremy (Heather) Evans, Chad (Melissa) Butler, Trampus (Angela) Butler, Cody (Mandi) Butler, Savannah (Matthew) Pacobit, Lindsey Dooley, Lyndsay Varner; his 23 great-grandchildren, Jaylan and Austin Priddy, Taylor (John) McGrath, Tyler (Amber), Tara Beth, Bransley, Blanche, Aubree and Rhett Hilton Butler, Dax Doyle, Taylor, Zayn, Blaze, and Harley Peavy, Savannah and Ariana Rioux, Paige Boudreau, Bryce and Justin Thomas, Morgan Sparks, Skylar and Raine Minor, Grayson Pacobit-baby to be born January 2019; and 7 great-great-granchildren, Stewart Mcgrath, Eli Hilton and Adalee Butler, Kingston, Karter, and Kamden Peavy.

He was preceded by his father, William Samuel and mother, Tiny Pearl Butler; 7 sisters and 4 brothers; his son, Robert Hilton “Bubba” Butler, Jr.; his son-in-law, Jerry Evans; grandson, Joseph Varner; great-grandson, William Bransley Butler.

Pallbearers will be Mike Mulkey, Kaycee Rosso, Robert Tycer, Johnnie Bert Dixon, Joe Lee Norwood, Jr., Bill Hawkins, Joe LaMartiniere, and Orville LaMartiniere; honorary pallbearers will be David Tygress, Billy Travis, Darrel Vannoy, Howard Pace, Dale Dawson, Rick Andries, Glenn Hawkins, Howard Varner, Sherwin Revere, Joe Lee Norwood, Sr., Bobby Oliveaux, Johnny Butler, Alvin Patin, Jim Dupree, Jack Donnelly, and Jimmy Cruze.

Having the distinction of being the first person to work his way up from a rookie security officer to warden of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Robert Hilton Butler continued to serve the state and community through his contributions as resident historian for the Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum. A native of West Carroll Parish in North Louisiana, Butler has been married to his wife, Omah for 70 years. The couple had three daughters and a son.

Hired at Angola on December 8, 1952, at a salary of $250 per month, during a time when the prison had segregated camps, violence was rampant, and The Times-Picayune in New Orleans called the prison a “sewer of degradation” for its treatment of inmates, the former struggling farmer’s primary goal was providing for the his young family.

Training was nonexistent in 1952, so Butler learned on the job. From the beginning, he built a reputation for being firm yet fair, which became the guiding principle of his career and earned him the respect of both the inmate population and the correctional staff. As he rose steadily in rank, his goal throughout his career, and especially as warden, was to never make a promise he could not keep.

He became an integral part of the prison chase team, helping to recapture dozens of inmates during the 1950s and 1960s when no escape laws existed and runaways were common. Hilton Butler’s experience and ability were deemed invaluable at Angola – the go to man for advice on any prison issues. By 1975, Butler had been promoted to assistant warden for custody, and is given credit for single-handedly diffusing a riot during the summer of that year after a mass food poisoning incident at the Main Prison nearly caused tensions to boil over. Meeting alone and unarmed with hostile inmate leaders and, while answering questions giving serious consideration to their grievances, he made it clear that there would be order and he would not tolerate demands.

In 1987 Hilton Butler was honored with the Charles E. Dunbar, Jr. Career Service Award by the Louisiana Civil Service League, followed in 1988, after 36 years in corrections, by being named Warden of the Year by the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents. He was inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame in 2012.

He loved the Lord and was an encouragement to many.

Hilton was an avid hunter and fisherman, spending many hours in the outdoors with family and friends.

His family meant the world to him.

Visitation will be Wednesday, December 19, 2018 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Charlet Funeral Home, Inc. in Zachary. A second visitation will be Thursday, December 20, 2018 from 12:00 pm until service at 2:00 pm, at Tunica United Methodist Church in Tunica. Burial will follow at Feliciana Cemetery in St. Francisville.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    When
    Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Location
    Charlet Funeral Home, Inc. Zachary
    Address
    4230 High Street
    ZACHARY, LA 70791
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Second Visitation

    Thursday, December 20th, 2018 | 12:00pm - 2:00pm
    When
    Thursday, December 20th, 2018 12:00pm - 2:00pm
    Location
    Tunica United Methodist Church
    Address
    16428 Tunica Trace
    TUNICA, LA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday, December 20th, 2018 | 2:00pm
    When
    Thursday, December 20th, 2018 2:00pm
    Location
    Tunica United Methodist Church
    Address
    16428 Tunica Trace
    TUNICA, LA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Location
    Feliciana Cemetery
    Address
    Feliciana Street off Ferdinand Street
    St. Francisville, LA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Malcolm and Jeanenne Borden, Monica, Steve & Jaime Floyd, and others have sent flowers to the family of Hilton Butler.
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JB

John Borden

Posted at 02:05pm
My earliest memories of Uncle Hilton all seem to recall him as bigger than life. Not that he was that big of a man in stature but that he commanded respect from all those in his presence. He wasn’t trained as a leader; he just instinctively learned leadership qualities from those he respected as leaders. My Dad was one of four Borden brothers who gained Uncle Hilton as a brother-in-law in 1948. It didn’t take them long to get to know each other and they became life-long friends and hunting buddies. From about age 12, I got to join in the hunts at Hogue’s Island. The hunts were always fun, but they were always much more fun when Uncle Hilton brought his dogs up from St. Francisville. It was like going from a high school football game to an NFL game. We were “big time” when Uncle Hilton and his hounds joined us. That was a different place and a different time and a different generation. The kind of men that the Borden boys and Hilton Butler were is now exceedingly rare and our country is the poorer for it. They just don’t make them like that anymore. I was fortunate to spend a few hours with Uncle Hilton, Aunt Omah, Bubba and Brenda in February of 2017 while on a foray through the South. We talked about many things but ended up talking about the museum at Angola. He urged me to stick around another day and said he and Bubba would show me around the museum. I told him that I didn’t have time to see the museum this trip but that I would make time during my next trip. I will cherish the memories of that visit and I will see the museum when I visit next Spring. While I won’t have Uncle Hilton or Bubba physically with me, I may feel an angel or two sitting on my shoulders.
MB

Malcolm and Jeanenne Borden

Posted at 02:03pm
Our love and sympathies to all, So sorry we can't be there
Flower Image

Malcolm and Jeanenne Borden purchased the The FTD Loving Light Dishgarden for the family of Hilton Butler.

MF

Monica, Steve & Jaime Floyd

Posted at 10:52am
Yall are in our thoughts & prayers.
Flower Image

Monica, Steve & Jaime Floyd purchased the The FTD Heavenly Scented Basket for the family of Hilton Butler.

ES

Elizabeth Simmons

Posted at 01:18am
He was a wonderful man. Prayers for family
MB

Mike and Maria Butler

Posted at 12:25am
Hilton Butler was a truly remarkable gentleman. May God be with his family at this sad time.
Flower Image

Mike and Maria Butler purchased the The FTD Living Spirit Dishgarden for the family of Hilton Butler.

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