Peter Butler


April 23, 1926 - January 14, 2013

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Peter Lyall Butler, a resident of the VNA Assisted Living Center on Lowell Street in Somerville since 2010, died Monday morning, January 14, of natural causes, at the age of 86. With his wife, the late Marjorie A. Butler, he was a longtime resident of West Cedar Street in Boston, where they raised their three children. In 1992 he moved to the North End, where he lived until 2010. He is survived by his children, Alison Geyer of Somerville, Ruth Rogers of Cambridge, and Anthony Neil Butler of New York City, and by his grandchildren, Frederick Geyer of Chicago, Nicholas Geyer of Colorado Springs, and Eoin Rogers and Henry Rogers of Cambridge.

Peter L. Butler—“PLB,” as he liked to identify himself—was born on April 23, 1926, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the third child of Byron Truell Butler and Ruth Lyall Butler. He had a sister, the late Mary Elizabeth McLean of Andover, and a brother, the late Robert T. Butler. He graduated from Lawrence High School, then spent a year at the Holderness School in New Hampshire before being drafted into the United States Army in 1944. He served as a private first class in the 134th infantry regiment, 35th infantry division in Europe.

Upon returning to the United States after the war, he worked as an actor and stage manager in summer stock in West Newburyport, Massachusetts, and in New York City. In the early 1950s he moved to Boston to begin a career in architecture, and attended the Boston Architectural Center while working as a draftsman for Perry Dean Partners. In his later career he focused on writing architectural specifications for Perry Dean Partners, The Architects’ Collaborative, and other Boston-area firms.

Peter loved his family, his friends, the theatre, design, ideas, reading, and ships; he went to war on the Queen Elizabeth, returned on the Queen Mary, and never quite got over the excitement of those voyages. Always a critical, thoughtful, and empathetic observer, Peter remained fully engaged until the day he died, always keenly interested in the people around him.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Home Service at the George L. Doherty Funeral Home 855 Broadway (Powder House Sq) Somerville, Friday morning, January 18, 2013. at 10:30 a.m. Calling hours will be held Thursday, January 17, from 5-8 p.m.

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