Jack and Mary Butterick were high school sweethearts in the Grand Ledge area. “Well, it actually started around age 10,” Jack clarified with a laugh. “But we took a few years off in there.” They have been married for 56 years and, as part of Jack’s job with Gerber, spent some of those years traveling and living in Indianapolis and even Puerto Rico. But it was always West Michigan that captured their hearts.
“I traveled the world and have been to 65 countries, but this is where our hearts are,” said Jack. “This is where we always came back to.”
For part of the year, Jack and Mary divide their time between their home in Fremont and a cottage on White Lake that Jack’s parents bought years ago. They stay there until the cold drives them out, but even at the height of summer, the Buttericks still make regular trips back to Fremont for laundry, church, and volunteer commitments. Service has been a hallmark of their life together.
“I was in the Jaycees and their slogan was, ‘service to humanity is the best work of life,’” said Jack. “We’ve believed that and practiced it.”
From volunteering at local food pantries to shifts in the Friends of the Library room at Fremont Area District Library, Jack and Mary take their commitment to being good neighbors seriously. “We’ve been blessed in so many ways so we can share,” said Mary.
Another avenue for getting involved has been their partnership with the Community Foundation. The Buttericks created a scholarship nearly 30 years ago and will create an unrestricted fund through their estate plan.
“The Community Foundation was the obvious place,” said Jack. “Newaygo County has been a wonderful place for us to live, work, socialize, and worship. We want to leave a legacy and share in the Community Foundation’s ongoing role in our community.”