Former mayor Butler remembered
A former Cape Coral mayor who served the city in multiple roles passed away last week.
Roger Butler, a veteran, police detective and twice-elected mayor, died in Cape Coral last Friday, Feb. 26, at the age of 85. Butler was elected mayor in 1993 and 1996 and served from 1993-2000. Butler also served as a Cape Coral police officer, beginning in 1973. He rose through the ranks and retired as a police captain in 1987.
Current District 1 Councilmember Gloria Tate, who worked alongside Butler when she was a member of council from 1996-2005, said he always had an open ear, innovative visions, and showed a love for working with Cape youngsters in the area of sports.
“He was a mayor who listened to his constituents, had a passion for youth sports and a desire to have an outdoor sports and concert venue long before the idea of Festival Park was born,” Tate said.
Former Cape Coral Mayor Joe Mazurkiewicz also shared words of remembrance.
“I knew Roger as mayor; he served right after me. I also knew him as a police detective and youth sport coach. He truly loved the city and served it extremely well in many positions. He loved coaching Pop Warner Football and Little League Baseball where he had a positive impact on hundreds of young men,” Mazurkiewicz said.
“As mayor he completed the first phase of the UEP and was responsible for the Del Prado Extension to US 41. He was a calm leader who did more with actions than words. He was a great guy and he will be missed by everyone who knew him.”
Butler was born in Medina, New York and graduated from Royalton Hartland High School. He also honorably served with the U.S. Marines.
Butler was a long-time football coach with the Cape Coral Pop Warner league and coached Little League baseball.
“The City extends its sympathies to Roger’s family and a heartfelt thanks to Roger for his dedicated service to the Cape Coral community,” a release from the city issued Friday afternoon states.
In Butler’s honor, the city flag was flown at half-staff until Monday.
Tate added that Butler was always one to share a laugh and felt passionately about protecting the city.
“Mayor Butler had a great sense of humor and cared deeply for our law enforcement,” she said.
Survivors include two daughters; Rhonda Rusch and Robin Kane, along with his son in law Michael Rusch, all of Sarasota. He also is survived by five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. A Celebration of Life will take place 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 6, at Cape Christian Church, 2110 Chiquita Blvd. S.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Cape Coral Mayors Scholarship Fund.
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