In high faculty, James P. “Jim” Butler Jr. Was a stalwart of the talk group, a smart student who never procrastinated on homework, and an amateur photographer so enthusiastic that he wore his digicam around his neck all through elegance.
Jim cherished antique motors as a great deal as his digital camera. He photographed them, at vehicle suggests and parades in Wyomissing, his native land, and studied their history, their makers, their beauty.
He specifically favored the ostentatious autos of the 1930s, the heavy Packards, Hudsons, Duesenbergs, and Studebakers with their curvy fenders and glossy grilles, consistent with pals who shared his hobby in cars.
When he retired from banking, in which he had an acuity for industrial loans, he left Wyomissing to stay in a rental in Hershey to be close to an vehicle museum he cherished, and understanding Jim, “He possibly researched the museum for years,” said Mary Lou Butler-Pergler, a sister, of St. Michaels, Md.
There, at the AACA Museum, he volunteered as a docent, or guide, 3 days a week, providing traffic a wealth of trivia, tidbits, and records about the automobiles on display.
“He was like an encyclopedia of automobile records,” said Bob Kemmery of Palmyra, Lebanon County, a fellow volunteer manual.
Jim become quirky and vibrant, with a sense of humor imbued with “an awesome sense of irony,” said Bob Hobaugh, a friend, and VP of the Ontelaunee Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America. Jim’s information of these ostentatious cars went beyond models and automobiles: He understood how they match into America’s records.
“He deeply understood that the course of motors in America tracked the growth of the industry,” Hobaugh said. “He understood they represented the quality of America, some of the great we ever produced.”
Jim changed into a boy whilst his circle of relatives provides him his first digital camera, and his photography of vintage automobiles earned him a stint as a decision for the Wyomissing Independence Day parade’s car show, own family and friends stated.
He has become a member of the automobile choice committee for the Concours d’Elegance of the Eastern United States, a Lehigh County vintage automobile display presenting the rarest vehicles ever manufactured.
Though his fitness deteriorated — he had suffered from diabetes due to the fact that early life — he nevertheless volunteered at the Hershey Museum, sitting in a chair at the price tag workplace, generally with an ebook on vehicles in his lap, and regaled site visitors with records and history that they could not locate in the shows, pals said.
Though he cherished the flowery vehicles of the 1930s, Jim by no means owned an antique vehicle. His lifestyles become packed with inexpensive automobiles: a Corvair, his first vehicle, maligned in client suggest Ralph Nader’s 1965 e-book, “Unsafe at Any Speed”; an American Motors Corp. Pacer, the oddly fashioned compact vehicle of the 1970s dubbed the “Flying Fishbowl” by means of Car & Driver magazine; a couple of AMC Hornets.
Jim, the banker, was frugal, family and friends stated.
“He appreciated them because they have been a good deal,” stated Henry W. “Hank” Hallowell III, president of the museum’s board of administrators. “He’d change one AMC in for every other AMC. I’d ask, ‘Do you like it?’ and he’d say, ‘No, on no account.’ Then he’d tell horror memories.”
Jim advised circle of relatives members in December that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He died Jan. 26, 2019, at the age of 72.
The museum held a private tribute to Jim weeks later, a projector beaming slides of vehicles he had photographed on a wall. His 1964 Wyomissing High School yearbook, detailing his debate group prowess, his disdain for putting off schoolwork and his love of photography, sat open on a desk next to a lanyard that held his museum photograph identification.
“You honestly miss the characters you run into that make life a rich, diverse thing,” said Hallowell. “He became one of those guys.”