Donald Wayne Buttrey

February 6, 1935April 24, 2021

Donald Wayne Buttrey, age 86 of Carmel, IN passed away Saturday April 24, 2021 surrounded by his family. He was born on February 6, 1935 in Terre Haute, Indiana to the late William Edgar and Nellie (Vaughn) Buttrey and was the youngest of the six children. Don graduated from Indiana State University in 1956. After serving in the US Army from 1956 to 1958, he moved to Bloomington, Indiana where he obtained a law degree from Indiana University School of Law which he earned while serving as an editor of the Indiana Law Review.

Don practiced law for fifty years, something he considered one of his proudest accomplishments. He loved the law. His career began as a law clerk from 1961 to 1963 to William E. Steckler, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Don then joined the Indianapolis law firm of McHale, Cook and Welch from 1963 to 2001 and later joined the law firm of Wooden, McLaughlin from 2001 to 2010 serving of Of Council. He was a member of the American and Indiana Bar Associations and served as President of the Indianapolis Bar Association. In 1992 Don was appointed by the then Governor of Indiana, Evan Bayh, to the Board of Trustees at Indiana State University and served two four-year terms. He also served on the Indiana State University Foundation Board of Directors.

Being an active philanthropist led Don to co-create the Lake Institute of Faith and Giving at the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy in 2002. He served on the advisory board for the Lake Institute seeking to build a scholarly foundation through research, teaching and public service for the exploration of the concept that religion plays a vital role in philanthropy. In addition to his work, Don loved golf and tennis. His longtime tennis group was a source of much joy and many stories. Indeed, he had many warm friendships over the years that he valued. He was a dutiful father, dependable friend, ardent mentor and a loving husband. Don was an active and faithful member of the Second Presbyterian Church having served as a Trustee of the Endowment and a member of the board for the Center Point Counseling at the church.

Don is survived by his beloved wife; Ann Hyer Buttrey and his three sons; Greg (Karen) Buttrey, Alan and Jason Buttrey. His brother Robert Buttrey and sister-in-law Eiko Buttrey. He was preceded in death by his wife; Karen Lake Buttrey and his siblings; William Buttrey, Jr., John Buttrey, Nellie Buttrey Oliver and Nancy Buttrey.

Private family services were held, and a Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date. You are invited to visit the website to share a memory of Don or arrange a memorial contribution to; Mauer School of Law, 211 S. Indiana Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405, Second Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, 7700 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260 or Indiana State University Foundation, 30 N 5th Street, Terre Haute, IN 47807. Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel is assisting with funeral arrangements.


  • Mauer Scool of Law
  • Second Presbyterian Church Food Pantry
  • Indiana State University Foundation


27 June

Celebration of Life

1:30 pm

Second Presbyterian Church

7700 N. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46260


Donald Wayne Buttrey

have a memory or condolence to add?

Kevin McKenna

May 10, 2021

Greg, Karen and family,

Marie and I are saddened to hear of Don’s passing. We were fortunate to be neighbors for some great years and thoroughly enjoyed his company and of course, his humor. He was a wonderful, kind man.

Our condolences to all.

Kevin and Marie McKenna

Tom Fodor

May 3, 2021

We are forever grateful to Mr. Buttrey and his family for their continued support of Morning Light's free hospice residence, the Abbie Hunt Bryce Home. Since 2004, when the Home was known as "the home for the dying poor" annual financial support helped keep our important mission alive! We have served close to 700 terminally ill Hoosiers over the years, thanks to supporters like Mr. Buttrey. In life he gave so much to those in their last hours!

nathaniel lee

May 2, 2021

We lost a great American!! Donald Buttrey was also an outstanding social engineer. As President of the Indianapolis Bar Association, Donald Buttrey championed the effort to desegrate law firms in Indiana. He worked hard, within the system to accomplish significant improvements in race relations and equal justice for all. His wisdom, kindness and concern for all, will surely be missed. We have lost a legal giant.
Thanks for the contribution to our legal profession. Nathaniel Lee

Jerry Snow

April 30, 2021

Don I worked together for many years on mutual clients while I was a partner at Geo. S. Olive & Co., CPAs, now BKD.
My first experience working with him was in 1965 when I assisted him with the Dobich Securities bankruptcy, which caused investment losses to many individuals in Indiana. Many other mutual engagements followed over the next 30 years.

Don was a great person to go to for advice and help on legal and other matters.

My condolences to his family and friends - we have lost a very dedicated and wonderful person.

May he Rest In Peace.

Carr Darden

April 29, 2021

Donald Buttrey was one of the most honorable persons that I have ever met. He believed and treated all persons whom he came in contact with respect and dignity. He lived and practiced that old adage " Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The legal community has lost one of its giants. Long live his memories, his legal work, and the many contributions he made to the community-at-large.

Diana McKowen

April 29, 2021

I worked for Mr. Buttrey at McHale, Cook, and Welch in 1977-78 when I graduated from Ball State. I have great memories of working there and my time working for Mr. Buttrey.


April 29, 2021

I was sorry to hear of Don's death. As a partner of Geo. S. Olive & Co., CPA's (now BKD LLP), I worked with Don on a number of issues during the 1970-1990 time frame. He was always gracious and his advice was outstanding. The legal profession has lost a great attorney and person.

Chic Born

April 28, 2021

Don was a friend for 40 years. A true gentleman and friend . I will mis Don every day.

Julie Armstrong

April 28, 2021

I have wonderful memories of Don. He was immediate past president of the Indianapolis Bar Association when I joined the staff. He was incredibly kind to me and provided me with mentorship when I needed it most. My warmest thoughts and prayers to his family and all who loved him. He will be missed.

Shakeela Zia Hassan

April 28, 2021

It is with deep sadness I share my heartiest condolences at the passing of our dear friend Don Buttery. "To God we belong and to God we return" May God Have Mercy !

Don's presence and his commitment and candor are a joy to behold for me and us all at the Lake Institute of Faith and Giving.

I personally value his friendship in faith and in values..... philanthropy and its relevance for humans at large serving human needs with grace and in gratitude. I am humbled to state with certainty "He shall be missed !

Rest in Peace Don!

Shakeela Zia Hassan