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 much as his digital camera. He photographed them at vehicle suggests and parades in Wyomissing, his native land, and studied their history, makers, and 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, he had an understanding of industrial loans; he left Wyomissing to stay in a rental in Hershey to be close to a vehicle museum he cherished. Understanding Jim, “He possibly researched the museum for years,” said Mary Lou Butler-Pergler, a sister of St. Michaels, Md. At the AACA Museum, he volunteered as a docent, or guide, three 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 about these flashy cars went beyond models and automobiles: He understood how they match America’s records. “He deeply understood that the course of motors in America tracked the industry’s growth,” Hobaugh said. “He understood they represented the quality of America, some of the great we ever produced.” Jim became a boy while his relatives provided him with his first digital camera. His photography of vintage automobiles earned him a stint as a decision for the Wyomissing Independence Day parade’s car show, his 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 he cherished the flowery vehicles of the 1930s, Jim, by no means owned an antique vehicle; though his fitness deteriorated — he had had diabetes in 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. His lifestyle became packed with inexpensive automobiles: a Corvair, his first vehicle, maligned in client suggest Ralph Nader’s 1965 ebook, “Unsafe at Any Speed”; an American Motors Corp. Pacer, the oddly fashioned compact vehicle of the 1970s, dubbed the “Flying Fishbowl” using 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 a circle of relatives in December that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He died on 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.”