Obituary of Jay Edgar Butler

January 11, 2022

Jay Edgar Butler, 87, of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY, passed away on 11 January 2022 in New York City.

Jay was born in Pittsburgh, PA, to the late Donald H. and Effie Manson Butler. He was the eldest and only brother of Margaret Sandra Gardner, Judith Butler, and Pamela Butler Roberts. In addition to living in Pittsburgh, the Butler family has always called Cape Cod, MA, their second home.

Jay graduated from Kent School in CT, class of '52, and earned a BS in Industrial Administration from the School of Engineering at Yale University, class of '56, and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1961.

In Jay's long life he had two principal careers: engineering and accounting. Beginning as an Industrial Engineer in the late 1950s, he worked for Blaw-Knox Company in Pittsburgh, then at the Republic Aviation Corporation. After earning his CPA license, he worked as a principal accountant at Arthur Young & Company before becoming the Deputy Finance Administrator/Commissioner of Treasury for the City of New York under mayors Beame and Koch in the 1970s. In 1983 he found his way back to his true calling as an engineer, and eventually started his own business–Jay E. Butler, Professional Engineering–with his wife Susan in 1985. Anyone familiar with Jay knows of his dedication to his career as a structural engineer and his fairness and honesty with clients and partners. When he walked through any city, his eyes were on buildings, inspecting scaffolds, noting cranes, and enjoying the architecture. His family finds joy in knowing that he never had to retire–he worked even through his periods in the hospital and rehabilitation center.

For 47 years, Jay called Brooklyn his home. In 1975, he purchased and renovated a brownstone in Fort Greene, which he filled with family, friends, and colleagues for almost five decades.

In 1984 Jay and Susan Abrams Butler were married in Manhattan, NY. Together they made their Brooklyn home warm and welcoming by hosting annual tree-trimming and Christmas parties, Thanksgiving feasts, Seder dinners, a wedding, bridal showers, birthday celebrations, and countless impromptu gatherings. Jay and Susan regularly shared meals around their dining table and invited friends and neighbors to sit down on their stoop, always offering drinks and endless conversation to their guests.

Jay is deeply loved by his four children, four children-in-law, and five grandchildren: Emily C. Butler, her husband Jim Grochocinski, and their children, Ian and Max; Grant J. Butler, his wife Jennifer Butler, and their children, Jae Hoon and Grace; Meagan L. Butler and her husband Darron Foy; and Jared E. Butler, his wife Anna Felinger, and their son, Ambrus Butler.
Jay is also survived by his wife, Susan, and his three sisters.

A funeral service was held on Saturday 22 January at 11 AM in Brooklyn at Jay's Episcopal Church – Christ Church Cobble Hill, 326 Clinton St., Brooklyn, NY 11231, (718) 624-0083

In honor of Jay, please consider making a gift to Christ Church Cobble Hill. Jay was a dedicated member of this Episcopal church. He taught Sunday School, spent years on the Board, and also served as Warden. This church, designed by Richard Upjohn and completed in 1842, was struck by lightning in 2012 and its steeple toppled. Jay was pivotal in advocating for the ongoing structural repairs and restorations needed for the aging historical sanctuary. He loved this church for its Episcopalian tradition and history, coupled with its exceptionally welcoming and community-minded clergy and congregation.

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As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends. RIP Jay Butler

Posted by: CHRISTAL Clay - BROOKLYN, NY - February 6, 2022
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