In memory of Dean Butler

Dear Troop 648 family,

For any of you who have not yet heard, I am deeply saddened to report that Dean Butler passed away earlier this week after a long battle with Pancreatic Cancer. I can think of few people for whom I would say better exemplified the Spirit of Scouting than did Mr. Butler. He was the model Scoutmaster through and through and his influence on Troop 648 and the greater Scouting movement cannot be understated.

I first met Dean when he moved back to Arizona from southern California around 1998 and soon got involved with Troop 648 along with his wife Trudy, and son Sean. What an indelible mark he would leave on this Troop. He was already a tenured scouting leader at that point and was soon identified to be a great Scoutmaster candidate when the Troop’s founding Scoutmaster, Dave Hornor, would be ready to retire. Dean was passed the reigns of the Scoutmaster role a couple years later in 2000, where he would serve as Troop 648’s second Scoutmaster for the next six years, through 2005. As the person who directly followed Dean as Scoutmaster after 2005, I can personally say that while he left the role with ENORMOUS shoes to fill, I could always count on Dean’s sage counsel in the following years. Even after stepping out of that Scoutmaster position in 2005, Dean has remained actively involved with the Troop month after month, year after year, for these 14 years to follow. He has been a role model to all the Scoutmasters who have followed and there has been many a Scout who has been moved by Dean’s sincere example of what Scouting is all about.

Outside of his extensive service to Troop 648, Dean Butler was a founder of the Arizona Scouting Museum and also loved anything to do with Scouting. As he was often known to say “Nothing says I love you like a patch!” There are few around that have the collection of patches, and uniforms, and scouting books, and other scouting items than does Dean.

Dean Butler was also a lover of the many great, pinnacle adventures of scouting. He lead Troop expeditions to Philmont Scout Ranch in 2001 and 2005. He was also instrumental in organizing the Troop’s trip to the National Canoe Base in Ely, Minnesota in 2003, along with the Troop’s trip to the National Sea Base near Miami, Florida in 2007, completing Scouting’s “High Adventure Triple Crown”.

Dean was the Scoutmaster of one of the Council Contingent troops to the BSA Centennial National Jamboree in 2010, marking the 100-year anniversary of Scouting and the final Jamboree held at Fort AP Hill in Virginia. Dean then transitioned on as the Council Jamboree Coordinator, organizing the National Jamboree experience for the entire Grand Canyon Council in both 2013, (the first Jamboree at its new permanent home at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia), and then again for the Jamboree at SBR in 2017. Dean returned to the Summit for the 2019 World Jamboree, which was held for the first time in the United States in nearly 60 years.

A recipient of the Silver Beaver award in 2006, and holder of various other Scouting honors, Dean has long been a strong supporter of the District and Council. Dean has served many years on the Council’s Risk Management Committee, and has also long been a District Eagle Scout reviewer. Dean’s final project to Scouting has been a book on the History of the Grand Canyon Council, planned for  release in 2021, marking the Council’s 100th Anniversary.

I am going to greatly miss Dean Butler, husband to Trudy Butler, father of Troop 648’s 21st Eagle Scout, Sean Butler, and dear friend to so many more among us in Troop 648, the Grand Canyon Council, and throughout the World Brotherhood of Scouting.

The following is information on honoring the memory of Dean Butler:

Public Viewing

Friday, September 27, 2019; from 5:30PM-8:00PM at Hansen Desert Hills Mortuary and Cemetery

6500 East Bell Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85254.

The Celebration of Life Service

Saturday, September 28, 2019; at 2:00PM at Desert Springs Bible Church

16215 N. Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85032.

Reception to Follow

All are invited, and scouts are welcome to wear their uniform to the service if you wish. I have also been asked to see if we can get 5 or 6 scouts to assist at the service on Saturday. If you are available and interested in helping out, please let me know and I will get you those details.


Jacob R Benyi

Troop 648 Committee Chair