We believe that a life should be celebrated with Love, Respect and Joyful Memories.

Howard "Chuck" Buttrey

Jun 21, 1945 - Dec 25, 2017
ObituaryShare A Memory

 Early on Christmas morning, December 25, 2017, our beloved husband, father and Papa, Howard Charles “Chuck” Buttrey was called home to Jesus surrounded by his family.

Chuck was born on June 21, 1945 in Clinton, Missouri.  In 1951, his family moved to Wapato, Washington where he grew up fruit farming and graduated Wapato High School in 1963. Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Marine Corps where he earned the rank of Sergeant. Chuck returned home and managed his family’s orchards from 1964 to 1977 while married to his high school sweetheart, Esther “Sis” (Mitchell) Lawhorn and raising their two small daughters.

By the grace of God, Chuck entered Sundown M Ranch at its original location in Harrah, Washington for alcohol dependency recovery. His journey began on September 19, 1977 and upon completion of The 12 Step Program, he was hired and had earned all Washington State Alcoholism Counselor certifications by 1987. During his 40-year career at Sundown M Ranch, Chuck rose to the role of Clinical Director and earned numerous professional awards including both state and national recognition.  Sharing his own struggle with alcoholism, helping others to see the hope of a day when they too would gain sobriety, and his dedication to being the best role model possible were his life passions.

On February 21, 2002, Chuck married the love of his life, Verlynn Best, blending their families together in a bond that remains strong and close knit to this very day. Chuck and Verlynn were blessed with almost 18 years of marriage, and the best way Verlynn can explain their enduring love is with this “Tu me manques” which means in French, “You are missing from me,” and he is until they meet again. There are too many wonderful, heartfelt, tender, and entertaining memories to list of family meals, church together, pool time, and playing with the grandkids.

Chuck was a passionate long-distance road cyclist for most of the 1990’s and especially liked to tell the story of the day he stopped at a rest area and met the “red head” that would soon become his wife and share about the many multi-state rides he accomplished with his cycling club. He was also an avid fly and deep-sea fisherman, spending hours all up and down the Ellensburg Canyon where he’d find great peace and solitude in the beauty of nature. His fly fishing love came from the memories he’d made fishing every creek and stream he and his dad, Lash, could find growing up. He also touted the fact that he was often the only deep-sea fisherman aboard that could take the rolling ocean without any sea sickness, and was delighted by the nighttime open sea starlight – like he could just reach out and touch them. His daughters can’t drive west on highway 97 just past the Yakima Ave Exit without recalling him pointing east toward the river and saying, “I used to white water fish right there” and then breaking into a chorus of the song Delta Dawn.

Chuck is survived by his loving wife, Verlynn, his three daughters, April Shattuck Mickles, Danielle Turcott, and Lanne(Clave) Hiebert; one son, Don (Tracy) Best; honorary son, Huston Turcott; two granddaughters, Autumn Dawn “Mugwump” Turcott, Brooklyn “Miss B” Hiebert; two grandsons, Shay Nathaniel Shattuck, Caleb “Boo” Hiebert. Sis (Steve) Lawhorn, the mother of his two oldest daughters; sisters, Veneta Gordon and family, Beth (Mike) Cuillier and family; and his extended Sundown M Ranch Family. He is preceded in death by his dad, Elisha “Lash” Buttrey; Mother, Lillian (Rayburn) Buttrey; brother-in-law, Leland Gordon; nephew, Scott Gordon.

A Memorial Service with Full Military Honors is planned for Saturday, December 30, 2017 at 11:00AM at Yakima Foursquare Church, (700 N. 40th Avenue, Yakima, WA 98908). In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Sundown M Ranch, in care of Brookside Funeral Home, (PO Box 1267, Moxee, WA 98936), who is caring for the family.  The family would like to thank Virginia Mason Memorial Emergency Department, Advanced Life Systems (ALS), and the Cottage In The Meadow Staff for their wonderful and loving care. 


Funeral Information

Funeral service

Dec 30, 2017:11:00am

Yakima Foursquare Church

700 N 40th Ave., Yakima, WA 98908