Obituary Listings

James Ronald "Ron" Butler

December 1, 1958 April 5, 2019
James Ronald "Ron" Butler
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Obituary for James Ronald "Ron" Butler

After a long and brave struggle to recover from a stroke he suffered last September, James Ronald “Ron” Butler passed away into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior on April 5, 2019.

A Memorial Service is scheduled for Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Clements Funeral Home in Durham at 2pm. Address: 1105 Broad St, Durham, NC 27705.

Ron was born in Cheverly, Maryland to Joseph Roy Butler and Helen Butler. He attended Largo High School where he ran track and participated in ROTC. After graduating from high school in 1976, Ron attended the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). At UMD, he was a history major and desegregated his fraternity, Kappa Alpha, as its first African American pledge. After college, Ron worked in Washington, DC, at the Mayflower Hotel where he had the opportunity to meet a number of the political figures and musicians he admired. Ron also worked for the Archdiocese of Washington as a community organizer and social justice advocate. Ron’s interest in politics and social justice issues was lifelong and in 1984 he joined Alan Cranston’s presidential campaign in Iowa. While working on the Cranston campaign he met his future wife, Rachel, and moved to California in 1998 to join her. They were married in Reno, Nevada in 1999. Ron worked successfully as a property manager in Virginia and then in California.

While living in California, he became a dialysis technician. He continued his career in medicine when he and Rachel moved to North Carolina in 2007. Here, he worked as a financial care counselor, first at Duke Main and then at Duke Regional Hospital. In addition to political and social issues, Ron had abiding interests in American history and literature, philosophy, and religion -- and sports, particularly the variable fortunes of the Maryland Terps, CAL Bears, and the Duke Blue Devils basketball and football teams. Ron served in the U.S. Army Reserve while in college and after. He was widely read and deeply knowledgeable about all of his many interests. He was also the kindest of men and very funny. Ron is survived by his wife, Rachel, his mother Helen, and his sister, Lisa. He will be remembered with love by the many members of his own and his wife’s families, as well as wonderful friends and coworkers.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made in memory of Ron to

The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc. in Durham. Online condolences may be sent to

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of James Ronald "Ron" Butler, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Memorial Service




2:00 PM 5/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
Clements Funeral Chapel in Durham

1105 Broad Street
Durham, NC 27705

Clements Funeral Chapel in Durham
1105 Broad Street Durham 27705 NC
United States

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