James E. Butler

January 2, 1947July 6, 2012

James E. Butler, 65, of Clearfield, passed away Friday, July 6, 2012 at the Mount Nittany Medical Center.

Mr. Butler was born January 2, 1947 in Clearfield, the son of Clair E. and Ann D. (Johnson) Butler.

Jim was a graduate of Clearfield High School where he wrestled for legendary Hall of Fame coaches Jerry Maurey and Art Weiss. Following graduation, he went to work for the Clearfield “PROGRESS” newspaper as a sports writer and photographer, a position he has held for the past 30 years. His specialization at the paper turned out to be high school wrestling and during his many years there he has earned numerous state and national awards for his work including; National wrestling “writer of the year” in 1980 and 1984, District 6 “man of the year” in 1984 and National “wrestling photographer of the year” in 1986, 1991 and 1995. In 1999, Jim was inducted into the very first class of the District 9 Hall of Fame and later that year was also inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association state Hall of Fame in Hershey.

In addition to his many journalistic awards, the thing Jim can be most proud of was his formation of one of the very first organized, off-season wrestling programs here in Pennsylvania. Through his efforts, he provided the necessary funding, training and transportation for hundreds of Keystone State wrestlers to display their talents during the summer months not only on a statewide level but on a national stage as well. During the 15 year span that he ran his very successful program, no less than 34 of his wrestlers, including 9 from right here in District 6, went on to capture PIAA state titles. In addition, 5 of those 34 state champs went on to even greater heights during their careers by capturing individual NCAA championships as well.

Jim was a 2003 District 6 wrestling Hall of Fame contributor and in 2006 received the Outstanding Media Award by the Pennsylvania High School Swimming Coaches Association.

He loved high school athletics and was an avid dirt track racing photographer and fan.

Mr. Butler is survived by his wife, Susan E. (Kanouff) Butler whom he married October 21, 1987, five children; Troy Butler and his wife Jodie of Bellefonte, Kandee Hosterman and her husband Randy, Kevin Butler, Steven Butler and his wife Kari all of Philipsburg and Renee Schwartz and her husband Frank of Monroeville, five grandchildren; Bailey Hosterman, Ty, Kalista, Mia and Landen Butler, a sister, Jeannie Butler and his former wife, Jeannine Lidgett of Philipsburg.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a daughter-in-law, Kara Butler.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at the Bennett and Houser Funeral Home, Inc., of Clearfield with Pastor Tina Hawkins officiating. Interment will be in Mock Hill Cemetery.

Friends will be received at the funeral home on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 from 2 to 9 P.M. and on Wednesday from 10:00 A.M. until the hour of services.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests that contributions be made to the Philipsburg Osceola Drama Club, Attn: Lisa Chorle, Philipsburg Osceola High School, Phillips St., Philipsburg, PA 16866 or Paint and Play, c/o Philipsburg YMCA, P.O. Box 426, 113 N. 14th St., Philipsburg, PA 16866 or the Bellefonte Youth Wrestling, c/o Bellefonte Wrestling Association, P.O. Box 50, Mingoville, PA 16856.

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  • Visitation Tuesday, July 10, 2012
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, July 11, 2012

James E. Butler

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Frisco Family

July 11, 2013

A year can pass yet the memories can't.

Ron Saxton

September 19, 2012

I have tears in my eyes right now. I just found out. I used to attend MANY dirt track races when I lived back east and I have known Jim for at least 20 years. Jim is one person i knew that no matter what was going on or where i was at he always made me smile. He always seemed to have the latest gossip of the sport too. We shared that genuine passion for dirt late model racing good or bad the passion was there. He captured so much with his camera over the years I just hope that his family does not lose those photos. I know he was a friend to so many people too. God Speed Jim.


July 12, 2012

Pappy Jim thank you for everything throughout my life, I will always love you and I'll miss you more than anything

July 10, 2012


Greg and I are deeply saddened with the loss of Jim. We were in shock when we heard about it. You two have have been good friends over the years since we met. It was always a pleasure when we made our trip to Hagerstown knowning that you would be there. We had seen Jim a couple of weeks ago and had a good talk as we always did. There will be a empty place from now on when we go to the races that we know that Jim would have been at also. He will always be in our memories.
Davis Bros Photos
Steve & Greg

Frank Roessner

July 10, 2012

Heartfelt condolences to the Butler family. Jim was good man who gave much to his community's athletes and sports fans.

We were once young wise guys together in The Progress newsroom. Jim was a great ambassador for the paper, for photo-journalism, and of course for his beloved sport of wrestling.

He will be missed.

mia butler

July 10, 2012

i will always miss and love you pappy jim!

July 10, 2012

pappy jim, i will always love and miss you

kevin butler

July 10, 2012

Dad, thank you so much with providing me the opportunity to do the things many never had the chance to do. I already and will continue to miss you dearly
I love you dad, kevin