Martin Funeral Home East

1460 George Dieter Drive, El Paso, TX


Lt. Col Eugene C. Buttyan

September 24, 1930January 21, 2019

Eugene (Gene) Calvin Buttyan, Sr., age 88, of El Paso, TX passed away on January 21, 2019 after a long illness; his daughter by his side. Gene was born in Chalfont, PA, on September 24, 1930, the third son of William Buttyan and Ruth Sarah Martin Buttyan. His was a large and loving family of nine children and he was always quick to share stories of his childhood. He grew up and went through elementary, middle, and high school with Betty Porter, and it was she whom he chose to marry on March 23, 1954. The dashing Air Force pilot took her on adventures around the world, including a tour of duty in Japan with their children. Betty and Gene had three children, daughter Shannon and sons Calvin and Scott. Gene was a 1948 graduate of West Deer High School. While still a student, he worked part time at Peoples Natural Gas Company. He also briefly worked at Heinz, and thereafter he and his family only ate Heinz-brand ketchup. He joined the U.S. Air Force in January 1951 where he completed basic training at Samson, NY. He was first stationed in Texas at Laredo AFB and graduated from USAF pilot training May 1, 1953. By May 1968, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During his years of service, Gene was stationed at Bainbridge AFB, GA; Nellis AFB, NV; Long Beach, CA; Osan, Korea; Misawa, Japan; Luke AFB, AZ; Tuy Hoa, South Vietnam; Udorn, Thailand, and finally, Holloman AFB, Alamogordo, NM. Gene flew 514 combat mission sorties, earning the Silver Star with 2 oak leaf clusters; the Distinguished Flying Cross with 20 oak leaf clusters, 38 Air Medals, and numerous lessor medals. He retired after 23 years on August 31, 1974. From 1974 to 1981, Gene signed on with Flight Systems Inc. based in Newport Beach, CA. While there he served as program director and test pilot. Gene held a lifelong passion for light aircraft, spending hours on his own private planes and enjoying swapping stories with fellow pilots and mechanics at various hangers. He was a devout Pittsburgh Steelers football fan, raising up his children to be equally devoted. He loved guns, hunting, and fishing. His tomatoes and vegetable gardens were enviable, and gardening was something that always reminded him of his childhood on the farm in PA. Gene is survived by his daughter Shannon Buttyan of El Paso and son B. Scott (Nancy) Buttyan of Carrollton, TX; grandson Adam Buttyan of Boston, MA; brother Don (Betsy) Buttyan of Show Low, AZ, and Tom (Mary Ann) Buttyan of Dover, FL; sister Mrs. Herman (Carol) Horner of Karns City, PA, and many beloved brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Gene is preceded in death by wife Betty (Porter) Buttyan, son Eugene Calvin Buttyan, Jr., parents William and Ruth Buttyan, brothers Bob, Ralph, and Leroy Buttyan, and sisters Donna Buttyan and Norma Buttyan Wagner. A memorial service will be held February 22, 2019 at 11:30am, at Funeraria del Angel -- Martin East Funeral Home, 1460 George Dieter Drive, El Paso, TX 79936. An interment service is immediately following at 1pm, at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery, 5200 Fred Wilson Avenue, El Paso, TX 79906. In lieu of flowers, we encourage you to donate to the American Heart Association.


  • Memorial Service

    Friday, February 22, 2019

  • Committal Service

    Friday, February 22, 2019


Lt. Col Eugene C. Buttyan

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July 11, 2019

Gene and I shared careers together - From Bainbridge to Okinawa, Japan - He was a great fighter pilot and a true gentleman - I lost track of him after Okinawa, but never forgot him - May his gentle soul rest in peace - Amen


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