Evan Butler died suddenly on March 29, 2020, from a pulmonary embolism. He was born in Twin Falls, Idaho, as Emily Butler on February 12, 1973, and grew up in Hansen, Idaho. Always a tom boy and never liking to wear dresses, Emily realized at some point that she was gay and eventually came out in her mid 20s. About 10 years later, Emily realized that rather than being gay, her deep and true identity was as a guy, and she publicly and personally transitioned to a male and changed her name to Evan, and all of us around her sooner or later changed Evan's pronoun to he. After being around Evan, it was obvious that he really was a guy, and it was obvious that he finally felt like he was his true self.
All of these changes required courage in this often hostile world. Evan taught many of us what it means to be authentic, to live authentically, to live with courage to be who we are -- whoever we are, deep down. And he taught many of us about ourselves when we saw our own prejudices or confusion and then were able to adjust, to grow, to commit to supporting him and everyone else who goes through public and private changes.
His life and example was an easy teacher, because Evan was such a kind, generous, winsome, loving, big-hearted, funny, and encouraging person. Everywhere he went, he encouraged people along the way. He encouraged people he had known his whole life, and he encouraged strangers who he just met. He once worked as a teller at a bank in Roseburg, Oregon. Customers would come in and stand in his line, just to be able to talk with him, even when there were other tellers there with no one at their windows. People just had a story or joke to tell him, or something to give him, or just wanted a hug (which he would give them by coming all around the counter). Later, when he worked at a restaurant, people would come in and request his table. The reason these kind of things happened was because he had a special ability to see into each person's heart and to connect with them, to make them laugh, to make them feel encouraged or happy or just appreciated. It seemed you could never leave a conversation with Evan without him telling you he loved you.
As one dear soul put it: "Evan Butler was one of those unforgettable people who left you more whole than when he found you."
In this world he leaves his parents, Terry and Linda Butler of Twin Falls; his brother, Brian Butler in Shenzhen, China; his fiancée Janeil Bailey and her two children, Payden and Jarris; Maddie Jones, who he lovingly referred to as Squirt; many cousins and aunts and uncles; and countless friends -- all of whom will miss him profoundly. And all of whom he left more whole than when he found us.
An online gathering is planned for Thursday, April 9, at 5:30 pm Mountain Daylight Time. To join, log on to the Zoom app or website (zoom.us), click Join Meeting, then enter this Zoom meeting ID: 549-805-6340.
Please feel free to donate to the Twin Falls Animal shelter or The Friends of Stricker’s in Evan’s name.
People for Pets-MVHS
PO Box 1163
Twin Falls ID 83303
Friends of Stricker
PO Box 2218
Twin Falls ID 83303