Derek Dean Butts
To plant a seed in one’s heart…to root it in love…
To nourish it with time spent together…
Yields a blossom that will flourish forever.
Derek Dean Butts was born on February 7, 1967, in Gainesville, Georgia to his parents, Linda Joe Thorpe and Jessie Butts. He was raised surrounded by his brothers, Kerry, Gregory, Robert, III, Chris, Anthony, and his sisters. Kimberly, Apryl, and Stephanie. As a child, he enjoyed running, playing baseball and basketball. He received his formal education in Gainesville, Georgia where he graduated from Gainesville High School. A fond high school memory was that of Derek being part of the basketball team who won the championship. The team agreed to commemorate the win, they would all paint their nails red for fun.
Derek enlisted in the United States Army. He served his country for over twenty years. Some of his tours of duty include being stationed in Korea, the Gulf War, the Iraq War for 2 tours, and at Fort Carson in Colorado. While serving his country, he earned the Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), the Army Achievement Medal, (4th Award), the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Army Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Global Medal on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Commissioned Officer Professional Development Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Army Component Reserve Ribbon. He served with honor and distinction and was honorably discharged.
On May 4, 1991, Derek married, the former Estelle Ealy in Denver, Colorado in New Hope Baptist Church. He was the proud father of two sons, LaVone and Dominick. He was a loving, devoted, and amazing husband and father. Dominick remembers the many nights of playing spades and other card games and enjoying seafood every weekend.
Derek was later blessed with three grandchildren, Khai, London, and Khloe who all were an additional source of joy and pride in his life. They lovingly called him “Grandpa” and fondly remember the Sunday drives while listening to music, cleaning the car, the many special toys, and all the love he gave and showed them.
By profession, Derek worked as a Aviation Aircraft Refueler while in the Army. After his discharge, he became employed by Integrated Airlines, the Veterans Administration, and United Parcel Service. He was hard working, dedicated, and loved by his co-workers. He considered them all his family. He is remembered as having a kind heart and a smile that would light any room he entered.
Derek was a fun-loving man, who enjoyed life and those he encircled. In his free time, he enjoyed the quality time spent with family. He loved watching sports, listening to music, driving, and collecting knives. His closest friend, Mike Smith will miss the many comraderies they shared together and the fact that he was a true and trusted friend, who was a team player. He will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known this kind and wonderful man. To know Derek was to love him.
Derek was never one to look for praises. He never was one to boast. He went about life working for those he loved so much.
Derek Dean Butts departed this life on August 2, 2022, in Centennial, Colorado. Those left to cherish his memory and mourn his loss include, 2 sons, LaVone Ealy and Dominick D. Butts-Ealy; his father, Jessie Butts; 5 brothers, Kerry (Cassandra) Butts, Gregory (Christi) Smith, Robert B. (Wendy) Thorpe, III, Christopher (Michelle) Thorpe, Anthony Thorpe,; 3 sisters, Kimberly B. Carithers, Apryl (Orenthal) Gates, and Stephanie (Demond) Jones; 3 grandchildren, Khai K Ealy, London L Ealy, and Khloe K. Ealy; and a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and many friends.