Tony Butterfield was driven but goofy. He was a good student, a hard worker and, later, a dedicated parent, who hoped to instill those values in his three children. He also loved to snowboard and gave great hugs.
Katherine Butterfield was unabashedly herself. She was singing as soon as she could talk, and when she could walk, she danced. She was a devoted mother who loved to create memories with her children.
Together, the couple’s family said, they were complete — playful and funny, adventurous and goal-oriented. They zealously followed Jesus Christ’s example and emitted light and goodness wherever they went.
They were also gone from the world too soon.
“We will miss them terribly, but will feel their presence daily. As hard as this is, we have faith that we will all be together again someday,” read Katherine’s sister Emily Hurst, from a letter written by Tony Butterfield’s parents, Mark and Kathy.
The Butterfields were remembered on Saturday in a service much smaller than it would have been under different conditions. With coronavirus restrictions, the funeral wasn’t open to the public. Friends, supporters and family who couldn’t make the trip watched along and participated online.
Nicole Butterfield, Tony Butterfield’s sister, said in a video recorded for the funeral that she was “torn up” about not being able to attend. She and her brother Brock held their own memorial service for the couple on Saturday in Oregon, somewhere in the woods on a hike they’d all done together.
“It’s not easy losing a sibling or a sister-in-law who was a sister, basically, at any time,” she said, “but this time is really hard.” Harder than it would be if she could mourn with family and friends, she said.
Tony and Katherine Butterfield were killed April 18 in their home. The man police suspect of killing them once tried to get a job at Tony Butterfield’s landscaping company, according to court documents. He was arrested in California, but police haven’t released any motive in the fatal shootings. The suspected shooter’s wife has been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly getting rid of evidence.
On Saturday, the family memorialized the couple with letters, videos and song.
Hurst read letters that described Tony Butterfield as hardworking, just like his father, and just like he wanted his three children to be.
He would have them pull weeds and do other work around the yard, which they thought was fun, she said.
“He never spoiled the kids and never had to,” she read, “they knew how much their daddy loved them because he was always there for a hug or a kiss, or just being goofy with them.”
Katherine Butterfield came into the world with bright blue eyes and a big smile — one she never lost, Hurst read in a letter from Katherine’s parents, Marshall and Rebecca Crane.
She inspired people and truly cared for them.
“You got to know everybody, like really get to know everybody,” Nicole Butterfield read, “You asked question after question, listening deeply and responding excitedly or empathetically to every single one of the responses.”
Tony Butterfield knew the moment he met Katherine that she was going to be his wife, according to his parents. He waited a bit, though, before he popped the question.
The two were best friends, at first, but the relationship grew. By the time he finished his Latter-day Saint mission — three months after Katherine finished hers — he was ready to propose.
He took her to Silver Lake, where he arranged glow sticks underwater to say, “Marry Me?”
Their marriage was sealed at the Draper temple in September 2013.
“They created a wonderful life together,” Hurst read.
And when they couple started adding children, their lives got better. They were the greatest parents, family members said.
Katherine Butterfield planned adventures and parties for the children. Tony crafted them a dream backyard, where they could play and get messy.
“Those children will always feel the love from them as they grow up, because I know in my heart they will always be around them,” Hurst read. “Between the two families together, we will never let them forget the love Tony and Katherine had for them.”
After the service, Katherine’s brother Cameron Crane gave what he said would be the family’s last public comments on the deaths.
“We express our deepest gratitude for the outpouring of love and support given to our families during this most difficult time,” he began.
He said the two families believe in mercy and justice, and they think justice will be achieved in this case.
“But we will focus on the law of mercy, knowing that through our faith in Jesus Christ we will find comfort and healing,” Crane said. “We pray that family of perpetrator will feel that same mercy in their lives.”
He ended with an invitation: Live like Tony and Katherine.
“Be the light, spread the light,” Crane said.