Thomas K. Butler - 2015 Annual Order of Hibernians Man of the Year

Thomas Butler
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 10:30 am Mass 
St. Patrick's Church, Youngstown, Ohio
Luncheon following Mass

The Mass is open to the public.  Tickets, however, are required for the luncheon at the cost of $20.00 each.  Tickets are available for pre-sale by calling Mark Klacik, President of the AOH Joseph T. Nally Division 6, at 330-550-4469.  A limited amount of tickets will be available at the door.  The menu consists of a traditional corned beef and cabbage lunch prepared by Chef Jeffrey Chrystal

Thomas Kevin Butler was born on February 24, 1954, the sixth of nine children to Charles and Dorothy Butler. He is of second generation Irish American descent on his father’s side, with both his great-grandfather and grandmother immigrating to the United States from County Cork, Ireland.  

Tom received his education at St. Edward School and Ursuline High School. While at Ursuline, he was a member of the varsity basketball and track and field teams. He then attended both Kent State University and Youngstown State University, majoring in education. While attending YSU, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, and served as its president.

While in college, Tom took his enthusiasm for the sport of basketball to organize and coach the first girls’ basketball team at St. Edward Junior High School.  He also helped initiate the first parochial girls’ basketball league for seventh and eighth grade girls. 

In 1978, Tom moved to Houston, Texas, where he was employed by various companies in the oil industry.  In 1989, he married Marilynn Fair and returned to the Youngstown area where they now reside in Canfield.  It was then that Tom ventured into the floral business and is the proprietor of Burkland Flowers on Market Street in Boardman.  

Like his father before him, Tom has always valued community service and holds it high among his priorities. One of the first organizations he became involved in upon his return to the area was the Kiwanis Club of Youngstown where he progressed through the various officer positions of the club, culminating in being elected president. Tom was also a member and president of the LeTip International professional business organization.  

Wishing to acknowledge his parents long-standing support of YSU athletics, Tom was the impetus behind the family establishing The Charles and Dorothy Butler Scholarship to enhance the YSU Athletics Scholarship Endowment Fund.

In 1998, Tom was persuaded by his friend, Bob Knuff, to join the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), the oldest Irish Catholic Fraternal Organization associated with promoting and preserving the Irish heritage and culture through the principles of its motto, “Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity”.  Impressed with the club’s mission and camaraderie, he became an active member and served in various elected officer positions including AOH President from 2005 to 2008. During those years, he became a staunch supporter of the Gathering of the Clans and Youngstown’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade planning committee, of which he served as an officer to both.

Anyone who has ever met Tom knows that he is forever proud of his Irish Heritage, his Catholic faith, and the marrying of the two with his undying loyalty to The Notre Dame Fighting Irish!  In addition, the special relationships and experiences that he has shared over the past 17 years with the Brothers of the AOH and the Ladies of The Golden Rose have been rewarding and enjoyable to him in many ways.  Tom considers it both an honor and a privilege to be selected by his peers as “2015 Irishman of the Year “.