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Michael Edward “Mike” Butler, age 72, resident of Lakeland, Tennessee and husband of Hazel Spain Butler, departed this life Sunday morning, November 18, 2018 at St. Francis Hospital in Bartlett.
A Memorial Service for Mr. Butler was held at 1 P.M. Friday, November 23, 2018 at the Peebles West Funeral Chapel at Oakland with Tim Foster officiating. A Private Interment was in the Rehobeth Cemetery in Somerville. Arrangements were provided by Peebles Fayette County Funeral Homes & Cremation Center – West Chapel at Oakland.
Mike was born October 22, 1946 in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Olin Bryce Butler and Novalyn Lancaster Butler. He won the National Marble Championship in 1958 at 12 years old. Mike played for Coach Bill Todd at Memphis Kingsbury High School. In 102 games, he set the then Shelby Metro Area Record by scoring 1,976 points. He played college basketball at Memphis State University from 1965 until 1968 where he still holds the highest free throw percentage and consecutive free throws made in a row. He was selected in the 1968 NBA draft by the San Diego Rockets and in the 1972 American Basketball Association (ABA) Draft by the San Diego Conquistadors. He played four seasons in the ABA with the New Orleans Buccaneers and the Utah Stars, where he won the ABA National Championship in 1971. He was also inducted into the Memphis Basketball Hall of Fame.
Mike Butler and Hazel Somogyi married June 20, 1998. He was employed as a Director of Transportation for many years before his retirement. He attended Highland Heights Presbyterian Church in Cordova and loved reading his Bible, fishing, playing his guitar, golfing, basketball, listening to music, dancing and special times with his family.
Mr. Butler is survived by his wife, Hazel Spain Butler of Lakeland, TN; his daughter, Michelle Butler Himes (Barry) of Jackson, TN; his stepdaughter, Gwynne Hagan (Jim) of Germantown, TN; two stepsons, Rich Somogyi of Germantown, TN, Chris Somogyi (Ashley) of Germantown, TN; and eight grandchildren, Gavin Knight, Grayson Knight, Harrison Hagan, Garrett Hagan, Catelyn Somogyi, Caroline Somogyi, Sydney Somogyi and Clayton Somogyi.
Those honored to serve as pallbearers were Barry Himes, Rich Somogyi, Chris Somogyi, Jim Hagan, Gavin Knight and Grayson Knight.
The family requests that memorials be directed to Highland Heights Presbyterian Church, 2855 Morning Sun Road, Cordova, TN 38016.