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Gregory Allen Butcher, 71, of Alum Creek, WV, made his transition on October 9, 2023, at his home in the arms of his loving wife Kate.
Greg was born on May 11, 1952, in Logan, WV, the son of the late Naaman Butcher and Ethel Mae Hanna.
Greg grew up in the Chapmanville area, living with his late grandparents, James, “Big Jim”, and Inez Hanna. He was raised with 13 of their 14 living children, including Greg’s sister and a cousin. With money being tight, Greg left school at 16 and found work in Cleveland, Ohio. He returned after a couple of years, homesick for West Virginia and his family.
Greg married and was thrilled when his son, Gregory, was born. Though the marriage ended, he settled into working on the strip mines and raising his son.
Eventually, he met Kate in Ohio and swept her off her feet! They were soul mates, both totally smitten. He moved her and her motorcycle to West Virginia, and they were married a year later. Of course, he had to buy his own motorcycle. They had many wonderful rides across the country.
Greg completed his education, and in 1995, he made the decision to retire from the coal mining industry and run for the House of Delegates of West Virginia. He served there from 1996-2004 and again from 2008-2012. His committee assignments put him in a position to work on issues that were important to him, such as caring for coal miners, veterans, senior citizens, motorcyclists, and others. He sponsored many bills that made positive changes for West Virginia. He managed all of this while serving as President of UMWA Local 2935. He took great joy in letting constituents know that the Capitol belongs to them, and he hosted many of them there. He was truly a fighter for the people.
Greg was recognized by many organizations, by the Vietnam Veterans of America, The Motorcycle Safety Foundation of West Virgina, various volunteer fire departments and EMT services, and many more. He was awarded the Silver Spoke Award from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, but instead of going to Dallas to receive it, he chose to load up his ATV and haul water, food, and cleaning supplies to people who were devastated by floods.
In 2013, Greg went to work with the Department of Agriculture, retiring in 2017. Focusing on new endeavors at home, he built a chicken lot that could rival the Hilton Hotel and raised chickens, donating most of the eggs to Sojourners Shelter and Heart and Hand Food Pantry. He helped Kate plant the beautiful gardens at Unity of Kanawha Valley. He had time to spoil Dinky, his beloved cockapoo companion that he rescued from the Kanawha County Animal Shelter.
Greg worked with The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum to remember the trail of The Battle of Blair Mountain. A silhouette of Greg was used as a likeness of one of the miners for part of the memorial. The memorial is open to the public and can be seen at UMWA Local 2935 in Clothier, WV.
At home, he raised his grandson, Justin. They were inseparable. Greg’s devotion, direction, and love helped Justin to become the good man that he now is.
Greg was honest and straight forward, sometimes to a fault. But you always knew where he stood. He worked hard at everything he did. He lived his life to help others, always grateful that he could do so. He was humble, happy, and fully enjoyed a simple life.
Greg is survived by his wife, Kate; son, Gregory (Aubrie) Allen Butcher, II of Taylor, TX; stepson, David Rohr and fiancé Courtney Haga of Galion, OH; siblings, Peggy Miller of Dayton, OH, Teresa (Joe) Freeman of Chapmanville, WV, Donald Cochran of Charleston, WV, and Kimberly Adkins of Elkview, WV; 9 grandchildren; two favorite nieces, Misty Adams of Chapmanville, WV, and Amanda (Kevan) Mock of Gallipolis, OH; and his constant companion, Dinky. He also leaves behind many more family members and special friends.
Services will be held at Unity of Kanawha Valley at 804 Myrtle Rd., Charleston, WV, 25314 on Saturday, October 21, 2023, at 2 p.m., with light refreshments after the service. There will also be a memorial service at Evans Funeral Home at 334 Crawley Creek Rd., Chapmanville, WV, 25508 on Sunday, October 22, 2023, at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, we are asking that donations be made in Greg’s remembrance to the Kanawha County Animal Shelter, 1248 Greenbrier St., Charleston, WV 25311.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Evans Funeral Home & Cremation Services at Chapmanville, WV.