Robert Yates Butts, Morgantown, 87 died Sept. 13, 2020 of complications of Parkinson’s Disease.
Bob was born in West Point, MS, son of CY and Dorothy Coleman Butts on Nov. 17, 1932.
Bob completed undergraduate work at Millsaps College and attended Seminary at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Nashville TN. He was ordained an Elder of the United Methodist Church. He served United Methodist Churches in Mississippi, Tennessee and Illinois including as Campus Minister at Delta State University, where he was very active in the Civil Rights movement.
Bob went on to complete graduate degrees at Virginia Tech and Delta State University and embarked on a 29 year career as a faculty member of Eastern Illinois University, Charleston IL teaching in the Consumer and Family Sciences Department.
He remained a member of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church and was active at Wesley United Methodist Church, Charleston IL where he served on the Board of the Wesley Foundation and numerous church, university and community groups.
Moving to Brown County, Indiana in 2008, Bob was active at Nashville United Methodist Church and as a member of the Green Room Sunday School Class and the church choir. He was a former Board member of Brown County Habitat for Humanity.
A sports enthusiast, Bob was a loyal fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs Football team throughout his life, regardless of their record. He loved sailing and was an avid tennis and pickle ball player into his 80s. When diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he began the Rock Steady Boxing program and was a vocal proponent of the benefits.
Bob is survived by his wife, Kathleen Roberts of Brown County; daughter, Beth Butts Welch and husband, Stan and their children Zach, Blake and Delaney, Frisco TX; stepchildren Joshua Roberts (Martha Cross), Philadelphia PA; Elizabeth Roberts Welch and her children Matthew and Claire, Sullivan IL.
He is also survived by his brothers and their spouses James Russell and Lavoynne Butts, Louisville MS and Charles Yates and Marilyn Butts, Pontotoc MS; brother-in-law James Connor (Cara Huddleston) of Brown County IN Bob is also survived by a fun loving group of nephews and great nieces and nephews, all of them Bulldog fans.
The funeral will be Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at Nashville United Methodist Church with the Reverend Mary Wilder Cartwright presiding. In view of Covid restrictions, the funeral will be limited to a small gathering but will be live streamed for viewing. Links to service can be obtained at the Church website.
Memorial donations may be made to Nashville United Methodist Church or the Rock Steady Boxing Program.