Jeannette C. Butler

Jeannette Claire Butler, R.N. (nee Michaels) passed away on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008, from metastatic breast cancer at age 51. Born into an ItalianAmerican family in Southern California, she was the fourth of five siblings. Her life was filled with love for her family, including her husband of thirty years, Scott; their son, Nicholas; her siblings, Lorayne, Larry, Jude, and Lynn; and her stepsons, Mark and Curtis. In her professional life, Jeannette left her mark locally through her work to establish the Hospice program of Ashland Community Hospital.

The family's move to Ashland in 1996, joining Jeannette's sisters and later their mother, gave them a chance to enjoy excursions in the mountains, walks through Lithia Park, and boating on nearby lakes. Jeannette and Scott enjoyed many happy times riding their horses or their motorcycle in the beauty of the countryside. She was a great supporter of her son, Nick's involvement on the snowboarding team, going to competitions and even joining him on the slopes a few times. Always surrounded by family and friends, Jeannette loved hosting a special dinner or a pool-side party. Dogs and cats filled out their home, most rescued by Jeannette. A good yard sale hunt or scouting through antique stores were favorite activities. Neither thyroid cancer at 28 nor breast cancer in early 2001 dimmed her spirit of optimism or her expectations for the future.

Jeannette's early enthusiasm for nursing evolved into an administrative career with home health and hospice agencies. In 2003, she had the opportunity to create a new hospice program for ACH, developing a business plan and managing the establishment of the operation. This work allowed Jeannette to live out the passion she'd long had for the mission of hospice care. She thrived on building the agency's service to the Ashland community and seeing a staff of remarkable professionals and volunteers join the team. In the end, she received back the loving care of the staff she had come to call her friends.

A gathering in celebration of Jeannette's life will be held on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008, at 11 a.m. at the Ashland Community Center, 77 Winburn Way. Contributions in Jeannette's memory may be made to the ACH Foundation/Hospice, P.O. Box 98, Ashland, OR 97520.

Arrangements by Litwiller Simonsen Funeral Home, Ashland.