Cover photo for Dennis E Butler's Obituary
Dennis E Butler Profile Photo

Dennis E Butler

February 9, 1940 — November 10, 2014

Dennis E Butler

Obituary for Dennis E Butler

Former Iowa legislator Dennis Butler, 74, of Atlantic and formerly of Council Bluffs, passed away Monday, November 10, at Heritage House in Atlantic.

Dennis Eugene Butler was born in Lenox, Iowa, to Dr. Elliott and Elizabeth (DeVoe) Butler. He graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs and was awarded a Navy ROTC scholarship to the University of Missouri where he received a B.A. in political science. Following graduation, he served four years in the Navy, leaving as a lieutenant, j.g. On discharge from the Navy he sold life insurance while earning a teaching certificate from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. He then joined the faculty at his alma mater--Abraham Lincoln High School--where he entered one of the most rewarding periods of his life. His work as a government studies teacher and debate coach combined his interests and skills in government, debating and teaching with his total delight in working with teenagers. A few weeks before his death he was still hearing from former students and colleagues.

He left teaching for one of the other great joys of his life--politics. In 1972 he was elected to a two-year term in the Iowa House of Representative from the district that included Carter Lake. Dennis could and would happily talk politics with anyone of any persuasion at any time for as long as the other person or people were willing to continue participating in the discussion. He felt particularly honored when, at an Atlantic luncheon that was part of recent mid-year election events, Iowa Senator Charles Grassley introduced him and spoke of the time they served together in the Iowa House along with current Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.

Dennis began his career path as a Chamber of Commerce executive in Harlan, Iowa, in 1976. He went on to lead Chambers in Fergus Falls, Minnesota; Williston, North Dakota; Ottumwa, Iowa; and Gillette, Wyoming.

On September 24, 1981, Dennis married Jean Thorstenson at Fergus Falls, MN and adopted her two children Melissa and Sarah.

A Kiwanis members since 1973 he served as president of both the Council Bluffs and Atlantic clubs. He also was Lt. Governor for the Nebraska-Iowa Kiwanis Division and held a number of other leadership roles in the organization. It was through this work that he met another Kiwanis leader named Marilyn Miller from Atlantic. They were married on October 25, 2008, at the Lewis United Congregational Methodist Church. This union brought great joy and happiness to the last six years of Dennis' life.

Dennis is survived by his wife Marilyn Miller of Atlantic; his daughters, Sarah (Rod) Bach of Billings, Montana and Melissa Butler of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; his grandchildren, Madeline and Adam Bach of Billings; his sister, Kathy Fox of Perry, Iowa; sister-in-law Pat Butler of Council Bluffs; three nieces, two nephews and a number of special cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Elliott (Sandy) Butler II; and brother-in-law, Leon Fox.

Visitation with the family will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, November 13th. Open visitation will be on Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30p.m. and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Roland Funeral Home, 204 E. 5th St., Atlantic. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, November 14th, at the United Congregational Methodist Church in Lewis. Committal services, with military honors by the Atlantic Color Guard, will be at the Oakwood Cemetery in Lewis.

Memorial contributions may be directed toward the Lewis United Congregational Methodist Church or the Atlantic Kiwanis. Condolences may be expressed and memories shared at Condolences and memorial contributions may also be sent to the family in care of the Roland Funeral Home, P.O. Box 129, Atlantic, IA 50022.

February 9, 1940
Lenox, Iowa

Monday, November 10, 2014
At the age of
74 years, 9 months & 1 day
Atlantic, Iowa

10:30 a.m., Friday, November 14, 2014
United Congregational Methodist Church
Lewis, Iowa

Reverend Paul Master
New Horizon Presbyterian Church
Council Bluffs, Iowa

Randall and Sharon Breckerbaumer

“Beyond the Sunset”
“Navy Hymn”
“Precious Lord Take My Hand”
“All The Saints Who From Their Labors Rest”

Elliott Butler
Jeff Fox
David Dowling
Ray Armstrong
Dave Hancock
Steve Green
Bob Jobe
Roger Carlon

David Brake
Dennis Reed
Jim Headlee
John Peters
Atlantic Kiwanis Club

Bob & Emily Jobe Russell & Diane Hansen

Oakwood Cemetery ~ Lewis, Iowa

Atlantic Color Guard

Friends and relatives are invited to join the family for lunch in the
church fellowship hall following the committal service.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dennis E Butler, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Friday, July 15, 2016

6:00 - 8:00 pm

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Funeral Service

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Starts at 2:00 pm

Biscoe Presbyterian Church

108 N Main Street, Biscoe, NC 27209

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Service Information

United Congregational Methodist Church

402 1st St, Lewis, IA 51544

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Interment Location

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