Huntington remembers Butterfield, former supervisor

Huntington remembers Butterfield, former supervisor

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A former supervisor was honored by the Town of Huntington last week. Flags in the town were flown at half-staff from Monday, Nov. 15, to Friday, Nov. 19, to remember Kenneth Butterfield, who first served as supervisor in 1975. Butterfield died Nov. 14 at age 87.

Kenneth Butterfield

“The town mourns the loss of former Supervisor Kenneth Butterfield, who invested in notable infrastructure projects, such as the HART Bus system and the Huntington Station commuter parking facility, while advocating for our environment and expanding senior services,” said Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R) in a press release.

Butterfield began his career in town government in 1973 when he became Huntington’s first full-time town attorney, according to the press release from the town. Two years later he was appointed to the supervisor position to fill a vacancy. He won his first election in 1977 and was reelected in 1979 and 1981 for two-year terms.

Former town clerk Jo-Ann Raia (R) remembered Butterfield. Her first two years as town clerk overlapped with Butterfield’s last two years as supervisor.

“Ken and I were both inaugurated on Jan. 1, 1982, at Huntington High School,” Raia said in an email. “Ken was very gracious to me since he knew how nervous I was. When I got up to give my remarks, I said I had ‘Butterfields in my stomach’ and everyone started laughing. I was embarrassed, and after I finished Ken came over to shake
my hand.”

She added Butterfield approved funding that was essential to a project in the town clerk’s office.

“He also approved capital budget funding which was the first leg of building my records center,” she said. “He was a no-nonsense supervisor with a big smile and soft voice. He made his mark on Huntington.”

According to Butterfield’s obituary on the Nolan Funeral Home website, he was born in Flushing on Oct. 20, 1934. In addition to his career in politics, he was a musician who played trumpet in the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point while he served in the military. Later in life, he played trumpet with his Dixieland jazz band, the Isotope Stompers, and he oversaw the construction of the Harry Chapin Rainbow Stage at Heckscher Park, Huntington. He was the first to play on it once the stage was completed.

He graduated college and law school within five years and specialized in maritime law during the early years of his law career. Butterfield returned to private practice after he left Town Hall. He was a partner of Armstrong and Butterfield and then Butterfield and Butterfield. He also served on the Northport Village Zoning Board
of Appeals.

He is survived by his wife, Deirdre Butterfield, his daughter Caroline Butterfield Colgan (Bernie), his son Thomas Butterfield and his daughter Li Ann Butterfield Watson (Matthew). He is also survived by his grandson Matthew Butterfield.

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