Cover photo for JoAnn Butler's Obituary
JoAnn Butler Profile Photo

JoAnn Butler

January 3, 1933 — April 26, 2023

St. George, Utah

JoAnn Butler

What do you say about a woman who has lived three lifetimes in just one? Who has loved so many in her circle so deeply? Who has had such unbelievable highs and earth-shattering lows that we have vertigo just thinking about it?

We have been so fortunate to be in her world and to be loved by her.

JoAnn Jameson Strong Butler was born January 3, 1933, in Idaho Falls to Leah Nielsen and Parley L. Jameson. She was the oldest of 5 children and adored her siblings. In her high school years, the family moved to Provo, where she enjoyed making friends and was soon voted Homecoming Queen. She met Keith Strong there, and they began a romance for the ages; they married in 1953 in the Idaho Falls temple. At a Blue Angels flight demonstration, Keith was completely mesmerized and became determined to become a fighter pilot in the Marine Corp. When Keith was determined, there was no stopping him, and he packed decades of dedication and grit into 6 years by becoming an officer and fighter pilot, accomplishing his dream. During a training exercise in Japan in 1959, and after 6 years of marriage, his plane was lost at sea, and JoAnn was widowed at the age of 26. She raised her two tiny children in Provo to be near her family. In the depth of her despair, she reached for and leaned on the exquisite testimony of her father to survive. It was then that the seeds of her testimony of Jesus Christ began to take hold and grow, shaping her life and sustaining her during her most painful times.  

As a beautiful young widow, she continually gave service; one of every four loaves of bread she baked weekly went to someone in need. When she read of other young mothers who had also been widowed, she would reach out to offer solace, only to end up being lifelong friends. 

In 1969, Mom met and married another pilot, Marvin Jay Butler. She loved him, his siblings, his children, and later grandchildren, deeply, and they adore her. They divorced after 26 years of marriage. 

Mom moved to St George soon after to be near family once again and enjoyed traveling and laughing her wonderful laugh and eating her favorite chocolate sauce with them. She loved babies, and kissing on her grandchildren was heaven to her. As they grew they would spend their free time with her on their own, taking their friends for sleepovers and singing from famous musicals (Andrew Lloyd Webber was their favorite) as she gloriously accompanied them on the Yamaha piano that Keith had shipped shortly before his death.

In her later years as she started to fail, she continued to give to others through her gracious and expansive spirit. It was unbelievable that in her last months, she had to experience the unexpected death of her only son, Gregory Keith Strong. 

We still are trying to adjust to that reality. 

In her final days, we discussed her anticipation to meet the Savior. We understand that she will know Him well when they finally embrace. These two are not strangers. 

Those who know her story contemplate with joy her reunion with her beloved Keith after 64 years!

She leaves behind her daughter Kelly Strong Thacker and son-in-law Roy Thacker, sisters Janet Allen and Marilyn (Rex) Wright and brother Brent (Lorraine) Jameson, the Butler family, legions of grandchildren and great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and friends.

To Rocky Mountain Hospice and Legacy Village Memory Care: Thank you for your care of her and for the love you gave. 

The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at 11:00 am at the Bloomington Hills 6th Ward Chapel located at 750 East Fort Pierce Drive, St George Utah. A viewing will be held prior to the services from 9:30 to 10:45 am.

Interment will be at the Tonaquint Cemetery at 1777 S. Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah 84770.

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Past Services


Tuesday, May 9, 2023

9:30 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)


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Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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