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H.E. Butt, Jr., Founder of H.E. Butt Foundation Camp, Dies at 89

Each year, the Jesuit Volunteers of the central region of the U.S. participate in their ReOrientation retreat at the H.E. Butt Foundation camp and retreat center at a gorgeous spot on the Frio River Canyon in Texas.

On September 11, 2016 the former president of the H.E. Butt Family Foundation, Howard E. Butt, Jr. passed away at age 89. The New York Times offered a moving article about his life.

Howard E. Butt Jr., a billionaire heir apparent to his family’s Texas supermarket empire, who gave up the business to spread a Christian message about the dignity of work and its nexus with faith and built a nationwide following, died on Sept. 11… Mr. Butt advocated a role for the laity in improving the world through personal renewal within the professions, the family and the local church.

“Christianity that does not change us in our homes will never change the world,” he said. “Church work is done wherever we have excellence in our work that exhibits love for the people we are working with.”

… But Mr. Butt, a Southern Baptist, who as a college student and lay minister had led a Christian youth revival movement, wrestled with the dual pressures of the business and his spiritual pursuits. That struggle led to severe depression, which he later discussed openly.

In the 1960s, he gave up the vice presidency of day-to-day operations at H-E-B and ceded the role to his brother, Charles. In 1982, Howard Butt became the company’s vice chairman and president of the H.E. Butt Family Foundation, which was founded by his mother as a philanthropy for underprivileged children. He expanded it to support hospitals, libraries and Christian retreats that integrated religious faith and business leadership.

JVC joins with the Butt family and their community in offering gratitude to God for the life of H.E. Butt, Jr.

Read the full article here.