Marilyn Butler

February 24, 1933 - July 16, 2019
Portage, MI





Saturday, July 20, 2019
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Homes
409 S. Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697


Saturday, July 20, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Homes
409 S. Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697


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.

Southern Care Hospice
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Heirloom Rose
407 S. Grand St.
Schoolcraft, MI 49087
(269) 679-3010
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


***Please note the service location for Marilyn's memorial service has changes to the following:

McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel

409 S. Main Street Vicksburg, MI 49097

Generous, caring, and very intelligent, Marilyn Butler lived a life rich in family. With a strong will and a selfless heart, Marilyn embraced life’s challenges and joys with gratitude. A wonderful wife, devoted mother, and delightful grandmother, Marilyn’s beautiful legacy of conscious care for others and joy in the simple things will be proudly celebrated by those who knew her best. Loved by many, Marilyn will be long remembered and deeply missed.

Despite the obvious gloom of the Great Depression, the power of hope undulated in the hearts of many. With a natural drive to not just endure but thrive in the face of uncertainty, the nation continued to put one foot in front of the other to build a better future. Nowhere was there more hope than in the Kalamazoo home of Norman and Margaret (Sullivan) Thiel as they welcomed their daughter Marilyn into their hearts and home on February 24th.

Marilyn grew up in Kalamazoo, where her father worked in manufacturing, and her mother owned a family restaurant. She and her sister Madelyn spent much time together at home, at the restaurant, and attending school together.

While in high school, Marilyn worked at her mother’s restaurant. Roy Butler, who had a gas station and parking lot in downtown Kalamazoo, often visited Marilyn at the restaurant. After a local girl had been attacked, Roy offered to walk Marilyn home, so she wasn’t alone. Soon the pair were a couple, setting their eyes on a future spent with one another.

After graduating from Kalamazoo Central High School with the class of 1951, Marilyn and Roy married on June 1. The newlyweds settled into their own home and were soon blessed to welcome three daughters into their family. Debbie, Chonie, and Lori, quickly became the center of Marilyn’s world. She relished in motherhood and would do anything for her girls. She and Roy built their home on the firm foundation of family values, faith, and hard work.

A great cook and masterful baker, Marilyn infused her love in everything she made for her family and friends. Her pigs in a blanket, chicken noodle soup, meatloaf, and bean soup always afforded great taste and warm comfort. Ask anyone who had the pleasure of eating her Russian tea cakes, heavenly morsels, and pecan tassies and they will unhesitatingly tell you that they were unrivaled.

When her daughters were young, Marilyn served as the Westminster Presbyterian Church secretary. She later worked at Consumer’s Energy as a Customer Service Representative. After retiring from Consumer’s she and Roy spent their winters in Surprise, AZ where they shared time with many dear friends.

Marilyn’s joy as a mother only grew as her children left home and began families of their own. Being a grandmother was pure delight. Within each of her ten grandchildren’s and seventeen great-grandchildren’s eyes, it was easy for Marilyn to see the light of her legacy as well as her greatest hopes for the future. Whether celebrating a holiday, catching up on their latest adventures, or sharing her latest petit point, anytime spent with her family was a treat. This became even more important for Marilyn after Roy passed away on January 3, 1999.

Without a doubt, the world feels less certain in the absence of Marilyn’s steadfast presence. May there be comfort in knowing that her legacy of joy in the day and unconditional love continues to live on in the hearts and lives of those who were blessed to know her.

Marilyn Jean Butler, of Portage, passed away on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at the age of 86. Marilyn is survived by her three daughters: Debbie (Mark) Lettow; Chonie (Robert) Kirkendall; and Lori (Henry) Meier; 11 grandchildren: Wendy Schutz, Matthew (Nikki) Piper, Robert Kirkendall, Jamie Kirkendall, Patrick (Jessica) Kirkendall, Meghan (Tim) Bullis, Adam (Rachel) Meier, Jordan (Morgan) Meier, Jennee (Vincent) Krell, and Max Meier; 19 great-grandchildren; nieces: Heather Manness, Coleen Collins, and nephews Robert McGuffin, Jr and Chet McGuffin. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Roy Douglas Butler in 1999, stepmother: Thelma Thiel and stepfather: Don Masera, sister: Madelyn McGuffin, and her great-grandson: Vimmer. A special thanks to Southern Care Hospice for the care and love they provided.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 20, 2019, at 11am at the McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, 409 S. Main Street, Vicksburg, MI 49097 (269-649-1697). The family will receive friends on Saturday one hour prior to the service beginning at 10am. Burial of her ashes will be at Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park.

Please visit Marilyn's webpage at www.mccowensecord.com where you can read her life story, sign the guestbook, and share a memory. Those who wish may make contributions to the Southern Care Hospice.