On September 13, the staff of the H. E. Butt Family Foundation gathered to remember Howard Butt, Jr. The Foundation’s Director of Video, Nate Clarke, put together a compilation of those memories.
The first (and only) time I met Howard Butt was on my first visit to Laity Lodge. “Met” may be an overstatement. I sat in the same room as him. I was visiting the Lodge while my friend was speaking. As a long-term resident of Wisconsin, I had no context for what this H-E-B grocery store was (the shame) much less the Butt Family. But as Howard and Barbara Dan entered the Great Hall, there were two things that were clear to me: this was a couple that was rightly revered by those in attendance and I was never going to make the mistake of sitting in that double chair.
Almost ten years later, I’ve had many opportunities to understand the reasons for that reverence: the ideas, the strategies, the audacious plans, the talks, the books, and the radio spots to name a few. These are the things that will introduce Mr. Butt’s legacy. I am thankful that as we gathered last September to remember Mr. Butt, that the greatest of those accomplishments did not overshadow what is perhaps more important — the quality of his character. So perhaps, in some ways, the following voices of our HEBFF team talking about Howard Butt, Jr. are a better introduction to his legacy. Or at least the place where we should start.
— Nate Clarke