AIKEN, SC - James David “Dave” Butler, 57, passed away on September 30th, 2023 surrounded by his loving wife and three beautiful daughters after a lengthy battle with cancer. Dave was the son of Patricia Funderburk Butler and the late James Elbert Butler and the grandson of the late John Elbert and Myrtle Tarlton Butler and of the late William Nathan Funderburk and the late Elizabeth Funderburk Varnadore. He is survived by his wife Kimberly Smoak Butler and his three daughters: Elizabeth Butler VonCannon (Blake), Hannah Butler Templin (Connor), and Rebecca Haley Butler. He is also survived by his brothers John Matthew Butler (Sherri) and Nathan Russell Butler (Kathy), as well as eight nieces and nephews.
Dave was born and raised in Fort Walton Beach, Florida where he attended Choctawhatchee High School and was one of the first male cheerleaders for their football team. He went on to earn a Civil Engineering degree from Florida State University, where he also cheered for the Florida State Seminoles under the legend of Bobby Bowden. Following graduation from FSU in 1989, Dave then attended the University of South Carolina’s School of Law where he coached the USC Gamecock cheerleading squad during law school and graduated in 1993. It was at USC Law School that he met the love of his life and best friend Kimberly Smoak. Dave and Kim were married on November 13, 1993 and proceeded to have three beautiful, intelligent and caring daughters. Following graduation from USC Law and completing the Bar exam, Dave began practicing law with Ness, Motley, Loadholt, Richardson and Poole in Barnwell, SC. In 2002, he started practicing law for the Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook, and Brickman (RPWB) law firm and in 2004 became a partner of the practice. For 30 years, Dave represented thousands of asbestos victims, consumer fraud and railroad accidents including the 2005 Avondale Graniteville, SC train wreck. Dave had extensive experience in product liability cases and consumer fraud cases as well. Dave’s passion to care for his clients drove him to continue to work for them up until the very end of his cancer battle.
Dave’s biggest passion in life was his family, always cooking for them and finding any excuse to make a party out of the smallest event. Dave was a die-hard Florida State fan and convinced his oldest daughter to attend Florida State University and then for her to attend Law School at FSU. Even in his last few days, Dave was determined to watch the FSU vs. Clemson game to see FSU win in overtime. Go Noles! Dave’s other love was working in his yard, building things with his father-in-law, Rodney Smoak and fishing to the point that even during treatments at Mayo Clinic he put on a poncho to fish in the rain. Dave also enjoyed numerous hours of playing multiple fantasy football leagues with his brothers, Matt & Nate.
The family would like to thank the staff and doctors at the Colorectal Surgery & Oncology Department at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, Carolina BioOncology Institute in Charlotte, Aiken Oncology and Pruitt Hospice.
A memorial service will be held at 12:00 PM on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at Aiken's First Baptist Church with The Rev. Jeff Smoak officiating. The family will receive friends in the church parlor from 10:30 AM until the time of the service. Honorary pallbearers will be Dave's law partners.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Mayo Clinic Colorectal Surgical Department at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville FL. Gifts can be mailed directly to Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905 or by phone 1-855-852-8129 or https://philanthropy.mayoclinic.org/donatemc
SHELLHOUSE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 924 HAYNE AVE., AIKEN, SC 29801.To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James David Butler, please visit our flower store.