Cover photo for Barbara E. Butzer's Obituary
Barbara E. Butzer Profile Photo

Barbara E. Butzer

d. August 14, 2023

Barbara Eckman Butzer passed away on August 14, 2023 at Lancaster General Hospital. She was married to Clayton Coe Butzer for 69 years until he predeceased her in 2022.

Born in Lancaster on March 25, 1931, Barbara was the daughter of John Alfred Eckman and Virginia Eshelman Eckman. She attended Lancaster Country Day School and Middlebury College where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and graduated cum laude with a major in French. She and Clay met during freshman orientation. After graduation, Clay went to Navy flight school, and Barbara took classes at Franklin & Marshall College to earn a teaching certificate. She became a substitute teacher for English, French and Latin.

After their wedding in 1953, Barbara and Clay moved to Rhode Island where Clay was stationed. They raised their four children in Connecticut and New Jersey. A busy household did not detract from Barbara’s love of volunteerism, particularly in areas that involved children. She was a PTA president, longtime school library volunteer, and board member of a local daycare center.

In 2007 Barbara and Clay moved back to Lancaster. It was a homecoming for Barbara, and a chance to be near her sister, Nancy Hungerford, and brother-in- law Chick. She became president of the Homestead Village Resident Council and established the Mother’s Day Jewelry Party at the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development, which quickly became a much-anticipated annual tradition for the children. This leadership earned her two Red Rose service awards from the Lancaster New Era. She and Clay were also Eucharist Ministers at the Church of the Apostles.

Barbara’s lifelong love of writing and literature extended into many other self-taught creative arts. Her painting, needlework and stenciling adorned her homes, and those of her children and friends who were the lucky recipients of her elegant gifts. Her garden was a showcase and provided daily delight.

Six generations of Barbara’s family have spent summers in Avalon, New Jersey. Barbara was happiest when her beach house was overflowing with children, grandchildren and golden retrievers.

Her sunny outlook and compassion helped her form lasting friendships and make new ones at every stage in her life. One of her friends recently commented “Everyone knows Barbara.”

She is survived by four adoring children: Stephen (Christine), Molly (Tom), Randy (Wendy), and Amy (Tom), as well as nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, October 6, 2023, 3:00pm at the Church of the Apostles. Guests are welcome to arrive at 2:30pm to see family members. Contributions in Barbara’s memory may be made to the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development in Lancaster.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara E. Butzer, please visit our flower store.


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