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I had the good fortune to work for Mr Butler on the Emerald Princess from 1990 until 1996. In 2004 he employed me again on the Emerald Princess 2. He was a strict, but fair employer and always made a point of asking how I was whenever he came onboard.I'll miss him.
Laura Wilkerson (Sullivan)
I had the great pleasure and privilege of knowing Mr Sam Butler through my employment of The Golf Club of Amelia Island. He was the epitome of “Southern Gentleman”. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to the family. How lucky you all were to have him in your life and I’m very grateful that we (Golf Club family) got to call him a friend.
Samuel Darrell Butler
Samuel Darrell Butler laid his final hand down at his home on Amelia Island Sunday, October 3, 2021.
He left behind his well loved children; Stacy Hobbs of Rehobeth, AL. Melinda Darlene Little, and Kevin Butler; both of Brunswick, GA. Each of them holds fond memories with their father and some of their most treasured remembrances are of fun family excursions. In his life, Sam saw his family grow to include his son-in-laws; Andy and Robert, grandchildren; Paige, Nicholas, and Samantha and his great grandchild; Mia. He leaves behind a legacy of dedication and provision for his family.
He was born one of eight children to Calvin Coolidge and Lottie Butler in Sale City, GA on November 21, 1927. Sam’s parent and siblings proceeded him in death and were; Wandall Butler, Juanita Bridges, Merle Walker, Willene Butler, Bernal Shimfessel, Charles Butler and Fred Butler.
His early life as a sharecropper’s son and hardships of the depression shaped his formative years and resulted in an insatiable drive for success. Always determined to find his own way, Sam joined the Navy at 16 years of age. He was stationed in the Pacific near Okanawa serving aboard the USS Cacapon. His desire to serve resulted in a exemplary military career which spanned three tours during WWII. Following his return home, he led a colorful life of 93 years. Ultimately, he was a visionary that went all in on the casino cruise industry and won big with the formation of the Emerald Princess. He and his right hand man, Louis Dyer, formed a 32 year partnership and the Emerald Princess continues to cruise from her home port in Brunswick, GA. He enjoyed a reputation as a pioneer in the industry and was proud to be known as the southern gentleman who took care of his ships.
His favorite pastimes were golfing and gambling. For decades, Sam could be found enjoying both with his buddies at the Golf Club of Amelia Island. In his final years, he enjoyed the company of his best friend, Herb Schottenfeld. More often than not, the duo could be found drinking the best scotch, eating fine food, and stirring up good humored trouble all around Amelia Island.
Sam was an avid supporter of the Humane Society and the family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Nassau Humane Society in honor of Sam Butler. Checks can be mailed to 639 Airport Road, Fernandina Beach Fl. 32034.
A celebration of his life will be held at Oxley- Heard Funeral Home in Fernandina Beach, Fl. on Wednesday, October 6. Visitation will be at 9:30 a.m. followed by a service at 10:00 a.m.
Following the service the family will travel to Hartsfield, GA., where Sam will be laid to rest alongside beloved family members who proceeded him in death.