Sadness at sudden death of New Ross ‘gentleman’ Derek Butler

The late Derek Butler.

New Ross Standard

The sudden death of Derek Butler, late of Mount Carmel, New Ross, recently, has led to shock and deep sadness within the community.

Derek died suddenly at his home on May 14 aged 66. He is survived by his children Paul, Amanda, Patrick, Vera, Caroline, Mary, Derek, Shane and Kieran, brother Paul and four grandchildren.

Derek was predeceased by his wife Sharon and siblings Eamonn, Cynthia, Beatie and Vera.

He worked as a welder and latterly at M&T Plant Hire up until his retirement in February.

At his funeral mass at St Mary & Michael’s parish church, his son Kieran said: “Dad was a man of very few words who didn’t enjoy being in the limelight, so I’m sure he’d be over the moon with the big send-off we’re giving him today.

“Over the last few days, we’ve had lots of well wishes and condolences, but the most common description of Dad was a gentleman!”

He said this probably comes from Derek’s country rearing that he got from his mother and older sisters. “Dad spent his life trying to pass it down to us. That could be one of his few failures but also the most valuable gift anybody could receive from their parents.

“Caroline brought up two jerseys earlier, representing Dad’s love for sport. Dad might not have been the loudest and boldest supporter, but I can still hear him as he used to shout ‘Come on Wexford’ at the end of Amhrán na bhFiann at so many matches throughout the years. From Clare to Croke Park, he was at them all.”

Derek loved rugby and had deep connections with New Ross Rugby Club, long before his sons all played there. He drove his sons and many players on bus trips to blitzes and matches trying to look after a load of delinquents high on fizzy drinks and McDonald’s. “Whether it’s local or international, Dad always watched with pride.”

A very hard-working man, Derek spent every day of his life providing for his family. Always looking forward to the next job to be done, no matter what it was, be it gardening or welding, he might have even fancied himself as half a carpenter at one stage.

“That’s probably the best of his personality. Maybe it’s his only downfall too. I don’t think he stopped enough to look around and see the legacy he had built behind him with his accomplishments. His children’s accomplishments and accolades and his beautiful grandchildren’s accomplishments who are all being built on his shoulders.

“My brother Paul stood here 11 years ago and spoke at Mam’s funeral when he said how much of a rock, we all knew Dad was for her through her illness. We knew her passing would be hard, but we couldn’t have known how hard it was for Dad.

“For the past 11 years dad has been like a ship, floating at sea. He had his crew, but Dad had no captain, always just a bit lost, aimless and more than a bit lonely. Well, you’re not lost anymore Dad. Tell Mam we said hi, rest and be happy.”

Derek was laid to rest afterwards alongside his beloved Sharon at St Stephen’s Cemetery.

He is sadly missed by his loving daughters, sons, brother, grandchildren Nathan, Billy, Darragh and Jack, daughters-in-law Linda, Carol and Shirley, sons-in-law Kevin and David, his many nieces, nephews, in-laws, extended family and a large circle of friends.

May he rest in peace.