Remembering Irvin "Butch" Whittler

August 27, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Irvin Francis Brown, Jr. Whittler passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 at the age of 62. Irvin, affectionately known as Butch, was born in Philadelphia, Pa. to Irvin Francis Brown, Sr. and Elizabeth Mae Bass. He was a graduate of Hickman High School, a member of the S. S. Warren 4-H Club in Boone County, Mo., and he became the first black State 4-H Council president.

Butch met his wife, Kay, while attending Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., where he received his bachelor and master degrees. He began his teaching career in the Boston, Mass. School District. In 1987, he returned to Columbia, Mo., where he taught at West Junior High School for 18 years.

Upon retirement, he began working as the Northeast Region Field Service Coordinator for the Missouri State Teachers' Association.

Butch dedicated most of his life to advocating for Missouri's teachers and the children they serve. He was a devoted volunteer and embodied every quality the 4-H clover represents. In addition to serving on the Missouri 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees for 11 years, he served on the executive boards of several nonprofit organizations and was an elder and minister at The Latter House Kingdom Ministries. He also worked as a funeral director for H. T. May and Son Funeral Homes.

We will always remember Butch for his kind smile and welcoming demeanor. He was an incredible friend and advocate for Missouri 4-H and cared deeply about the young people of Missouri.

Survivors include his wife, Kay; his daughter Candias (Marcel) Hardin; three grandsons Maurice, Tre and Bryce Banks of Columbia, Mo.; two sisters, Barbara (David) Horrell of Columbia, Mo. and Robin (Homer) Butler of Des Moines, Ia.; and numerous aunts, uncles nieces, nephews, cousins, colleagues and friends.