Douglas Butler of New Haven


NEW HAVEN — On Sept. 28, 2023, this world lost a one-of-a-kind, original, great human being, Douglas Butler of Munger Street, New Haven, left this world to be with his predeceased family — he is the son of the late Lawrence and Ruth (Pierce) Butler.

He is survived by his wife, Debbie (Giard) Butler, his high school sweetheart and wife of 48 years; sons Greg and Casey; daughter-in-law Jill; grandson, Colten; sister, JoAnn Madison; brothers, Stephen, Earl and Timothy; sisters-in-law, Brenda and Kathy; brother-in-law, Jeep Madison; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Doug graduated from Middlebury Union High School in 1972 and Vermont Technical College with a degree in Agriculture. His entire work life was in the field of agriculture. He owned and operated a third-generation family farm, later renaming it Cobble Hill Dairy Farm; owned and operated Butler Beef; and owned and operated Cobble Hill Kennel. As part of his love for cows and the dairy industry, he was responsible for the rescue of numerous distressed herds from across Vermont.

Doug’s passion for the dairy industry started as a youth with his involvement in 4-H, Addison County Filed Days, and advancing to the Eastern States Exposition with his prized Ayrshire, Ada.

In every area of his life Doug’s strong work ethic was evident. He was passionate about life and lived by the motto, “We are dead a lot longer than we are alive,” so he lived each day to the fullest.

In living life to the fullest he was an avid sportsman, hunter and fisherman. His love for dogs was evidenced as a competitive sled dog racer, at the highest level, competing in the World Championship Sled Dog Races, as depicted in the film “Underdog.”

This love of the outdoors was nurtured from his youth as part of the Butler clan gathering at their grandparents’ camp at Monkton Pond, where he learned fishing, water skiing and ice fishing.

As one relative remembered him, “If anyone lived life to the absolute fullest it was Doug, he was never not moving, thinking and planning, but always smiling. Like Doug would say, ‘Do it til you can’t.’”

He was always known for “coloring outside the lines.”

Doug never met a stranger. Every person, to him, was just a friend he hadn’t met yet. He always had a story, or a few words, to lift their spirit.

Come join us on Oct. 29, at 1 p.m., at the Middlebury American Legion Hall to join the family in a celebration of Doug’s life to share stories about how Doug touched your life.

The Butler family would like to express their deep appreciation to all the first responders for their quick and professional response to their emergency.

To honor Doug’s love for animals, please make any donations to Homeward Bound in Middlebury, Vt.◊


NOTE: In the Oct. 5 print edition of the Addison Independent the word “diseased” was used in reference to the herds Douglass Butler rescued. This was incorrect. Butler rescued distressed herds, none which were diseased in any way.


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