At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
To her family to help with expenses.
Life Story / Obituary
Reflecting on the life of Katie Butler, words such as vibrant, strong-willed and courageous come to mind. Katie was a loving wife, mother, and friend to many. Social by nature, she was a lover of all people. Her fierce opinion on just about any topic never left anyone guessing where she stood on social issues, yet her infectious laughter kept them coming back for more! Independent, articulate, and full of spunk, she never let her illness define her. Her positive outlook and wonderful sense of humor will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her husband, Drake, daughter, Maddie, as well as many close friends and family.
Katie’s story begins in the year of 1983. Swatch watches, Cabbage Patch dolls, and the Atari 5200 were collecting in homes across the nation. The Space Shuttle Challenger launched on its maiden flight, the final episode of M*A*S*H* was aired, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi opened in theaters. Fraggle Rock made its debut on HBO, while the music of Michael Jackson and David Bowie gained in popularity. With the Internet boom soon to be born, Gregory and Patricia "Patti" (Knowles) Crowe welcomed home their newborn baby girl, Katie on May 26th at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids. Joining her older sister, Alison, her birth brought much joy and happiness into their home.
Growing up on the northeast side of town near Houseman Field, Katie’s childhood was one of wonder and exploration. She loved to play outdoors and with plenty of young boys in the neighborhood, she was always up for a challenge of kickball or basketball. Katie attended Hillcrest Elementary where she was seen as a good student who wanted to please, yet not too far below her skin was that spirited personality that revealed her unwillingness to settle for less than her best. Her softer more feminine side was seen in the dance studio where she practiced tap for many years. No place other than the beach or lakeshore brought her as much peace and tranquility in her later years and there is no doubt her countless family summer vacations to various inland lakes around Michigan attributed to her deep love of the water. High school, however, drew out more challenges for her. Full of teenage angst, she felt more suited studying at Northview Alternative High School where she proudly graduated. Just shortly after this time, her mother tragically passed away in 2002. Always on the go, Katie worked several jobs during those years; Afendoulis Cleaners, Mr. Fables Restaurant, and for the Clark Retirement Community. However, her perfect fit was at Kiddie Korner, a local daycare, where she treasured her time with the young children. Katie shared their same exuberant and boundless energy!
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of the man of her dreams, Drake Butler! Their start together was not without its drama of on again off again breakups and reunions, yet theirs was a deep and certain love. Therefore, it was no surprise when they joined in marriage on Valentine’s Day of 2006 at Faith Tabernacle! Before the happy couple welcomed home their daughter, Madelynn “Maddie,” Katie enjoyed being Aunt Katie and had developed a special relationship with her niece, Ryleigh. Once Maddie arrived, her natural mothering instincts kicked in! When Maddie was old enough to enjoy her mother’s fondness for the water, Katie would take her to the beach, one of their favorite destinations. She also enjoyed playing basketball with her as well as showing her how to bake. Katie believed in spending quality time with loved ones and this rang true for her time with her daughter, Maddie as well as her niece, Ryleigh through their many special moments together.
With an insatiable connection to others, Katie never longed for people to love and support her along her journey. She took up many hobbies and special interests over the years. Katie learned how to cook and enjoyed making many dishes that included her favorite foods; cheese, pickles, bacon, and pasta! She also enjoyed bowling as well as watching movies. As much as she loved people, she loved her pets all the same. As the last two years became increasingly more difficult, Katie was rarely able to leave her home except for doctor appointments and her pets were always right there with her cuddling while she watched movies or caught up with social media. The medications helped manage the Hepatitis, but the wait for a liver transplant was difficult. Her husband, friends, and family took excellent care of Katie. Amidst her strong personality, at times, she was both easy to love and easy to hate. Yet, they saw through to her good side and cherished their time with her until she peacefully passed away in the comfort of her home. Although Katie is gone, her spark and zest for life will continue to live on in the hearts of her many special friends and loved ones.
Katie Christine Butler, age 34 of Grand Rapids, passed away on January 20, 2018. She was preceded in death by her parents, Gregory and Patricia Crowe and her grandmother Juanita Crowe. Katie is survived by her husband, Drake; daughter, Madelynn; sister Alison (Eric) Norman; niece and nephews Ryleigh, Hunter and Carter Norman; parents-in-law Grant and Diane Butler; sister-in-law Demelza (Kyle) Visser; grandparents Barbara and Don McDonald, Delbert Crowe and Dorothy Butler; aunts and uncles Sue (Brian) Connor, Robert Knowles, Michele King, Jim (Brenda) Knowles, Debra Schweitzer, Rick (Cathy) Vandentoorn, Alan Crowe and many friends. The service to remember and celebrate Katie's life will be held on Friday, January 26, 2018, at 5 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE where friends are invited to visit with her family on Friday from 3 PM until the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to her family are appreciated.