William Robert Butler was a Navy junior who claimed New Hampshire as his home. Bill came to USNA from a small town north of Syracuse, NY. Quiet, self-effacing, unpretentious and unflappable, Bill was a “stealth” Mid who flew under the radar, seldom got demerits and shook his head at the escapades of some of his classmates. Diligence and hard work made Bill and average student, but he sometimes focused on other things, such as trying to memorize the dictionary.
Bill was in the D&B, but his greatest musical moments were in the Chapel Choir and the Glee Club, where his deep bass voice made him a standout. With the Glee Club, Bill toured the country, appeared on the Mike Douglas television show, sang the National Anthem at a New York Jets football game, and performed for the Nixon family at the White House. A highlight for Bill was once doing the bass solo in one of the Glee Club’s stirring renditions of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. With the Chapel Choir, Bill performed at the Easter at the Easter Sunrise Service at the Hollywood Bowl, CA and in the Choir’s annual magnificent production of Handel’s “Messiah”.
The 12th Company Hot Dog vendor recalls Bill as “our greatest customer” who, at the end of the evening, could always be counted on to buy out the inventory “at a discount”. Bill fought the battle of the waistline, yet his gait and pace were erect and proud, with his strong jaw, he cut a distinctive figure both on the parade field and in his B-Robe. Bill chose surface line and married Jacqueline Frysinger on June 6, 1970. They had four children.
Bill resigned from the Navy in 1979 due to ill health and passed away due to kidney failure on January 15, 1992 in Broken Arrow, OK. Bill was a patriotic American and a unique and distinctive personality. Every member of the 12th Company wishes he could see Bill just one more time to tell him how much he was valued as a classmate and a friend.
Updated: October 31, 2018
Curator: Ed Moore