Jay David Butterfield, 61, of Garland, NE, passed away on December 26, 2022. He was born on November 8, 1961 in Norfolk, NE to John and Darlene “Cookie” (Smith) Butterfield.
Jay lived on a farm west of Pilger, NE until he was three. He then moved to the P & P Feedlot 15 miles north of Atkinson, NE and attended Plainview School Dist. #147, better known as the "pink schoolhouse." During this time, Jay realized his love of horses while working with his dad and Doc White tending cattle. Doc took Jay under his wing; over time, Jay developed his horse sense while helping Doc with chores.
After moving with his family a mile and a half north of Atkinson to "The Pink House," he attended Ridgeway School Dist. #180, better known as "Shane's school." From the time he was nine years old, he could be seen cutting across the field to Doc's farm – rain or shine; snow or sleet; on foot, 3-wheeler, or snowmobile; and, of course, later, on the highway in his hot-rod, The Green Duster.
As he learned to ride and rope, he realized a very special bond with a registered bay quarter horse named Croton Oil, with whom he spent countless hours roping and working cattle. The two participated in many rodeos, winning numerous belt buckles and trophies. One rodeo, in particular, took place in Gregory, SD, where he won the prestigious "All Round Cowboy" award. This award usually came with a brand-new saddle. This year, though, they decided to award a trophy instead. Although four feet tall, this trophy was – to his dismay - not a saddle.
Jay attended West Holt High School and graduated with the class of 1980. In high school, he was King – Prom King, Homecoming King, and Sweetheart King. He was also starting quarterback of the football team for four years. He earned many crowns and trophies, but still no saddle!
During summers, Jay spent time working in the hayfield on the Peterson Ranch. He also enjoyed hunting, snowmobiling, and Sunday afternoons at Fort Randall Dam.
Jay earned his bachelor's degree from Kearney State College in 1985. He became a father when his son Jason was born during this time. He worked for the Coca-Cola Company and the Dome Lounge where he developed many friendships, including the guys that became his hunting buddies. It soon became a tradition that "hunters" would accompany Jay for an annual hunt in Atkinson. Jay, along with Cookie, were the perfect hosts for such an event. They enjoyed delicious food, fabulous entertainment, and warm hospitality.
Shortly after graduation, Jay worked at Wilson Concrete and moved to Omaha, where he met the love of his life, Pam. Jay and Pam, along with Jason and Pam’s daughters, Jessica and Alyssa, welcomed Vanessa in 1997 before moving to Raymond in 2001, where he worked for Concrete Industries in Lincoln.
Jay spent many hours riding horses, trail riding and camping, and bushwhacking through the brush with family and friends. He was highly involved in the Capital City Horse and Pony Club, serving as President from 2010 to 2021, working most events in some way or another. He never missed an event Vanessa or Pam entered, participating in many with intention and dedication. Still, one of his most prized accomplishments included passing his love for horses, roping, and hard work to his daughter.
In 2019, he started working for Lancaster County, where his strong work ethic shone by never missing work for his own reason. He made friends wherever he went, including visiting with locals at and welcoming newcomers to his favorite place, the Ding-A-Ling.
Although Jay stopped hunting, he spent many evenings checking multiple game cameras set up around his property to see what wildlife was passing through. He also spent many days poking fun at Pam to rile her up, claiming she was "doing it wrong," all the while laughing at his own jokes.
Jay's life was full of family, friends, horses, and a strong work ethic. Despite missing out on the prized saddle from childhood, he won his saddle in the end – a life surrounded by everything he loved most.
He is survived by his wife Pam (Oliver) Butterfield, of Garland, NE; children, Vanessa Butterfield, of Raymond, NE; Jason (Alicia) Butterfield, of Kearney, NE; Alyssa (Chris Tindall) Miller Tindall, of Lincoln, NE; and Jessica (Brad Riemann) Miller, of Chicago, IL; mother, Cookie Butterfield, Norfolk, NE; sisters, Christi (Marty) Griffith, of Norfolk, NE; Lori Butterfield, of Omaha, NE; and Ann (Jason) Hardy, of Columbus, NE; brother-in-law, Tom (Mary) Oliver, Jr., of Lincoln, NE; mother-in-law, Phyllis Oliver, of Raymond, NE; grandchildren, Charlotte, Cooper, Lilyanna, Noah, Eva, Ansel, and Amelia; many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Preceded in death by father, John R. Butterfield and father-in-law, Thomas R. Oliver, Sr.
Celebration of life will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday January 7, 2022 at the Davey Community Center, 17810 N 2nd St, Davey, NE 68336.
Memorials to the family for future designation.