VIDEO: HEBFF Staff Remembers Howard Butt, Jr.


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