Howard E. Butt Jr, Of H-E-B Grocery Family, Dies At 89

“His decades of inspired leadership, philanthropy and humanitarian efforts will forever be missed by our family and those he impacted across the U.S.”

By Aaron SchrankSeptember 13, 2016 9:30 am| ,

From Texas Public Radio

Howard E. Butt, Junior, the oldest son of the H-E-B grocery store namesake, died Sunday in San Antonio due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.  He was 89.

Howard is the brother of H-E-B CEO Charles Butt.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of my brother, Howard,” said Charles Butt, in a statement.  “His decades of inspired leadership, philanthropy and humanitarian efforts will forever be missed by our family and those he impacted across the U.S.”

Howard was the vice chair of the company’s board and the former president of the H.E. Butt Family Foundation. “He just had a way of making every individual he came across seem like they were the most important person to him at that moment,” said the Foundation’s executive director of constituent relations Perri Rosheger. “That’s what contributed to the vulnerability and healing that’s happened for literally thousands of people that have experienced the foundation’s programs over the years.” The Kerrville-born businessman was best known for his work in Christian ministry. He founded the Layman’s Leadership Institute with Billy Graham and ran Laity Lodge, a Christian camp for kids in the Texas Hill Country.

“Howard E. Butt, Jr., was a great friend of my father’s and served alongside him in ministry for many years,” said Franklin Graham, in a statement. “He realized that every Christian is called to serve, not just those who have positions in ministry.  For this reason, he was an early pioneer in the area of workplace ministry, encouraging the body of believers – whether they be businessmen, doctors, carpenters or teachers – to see their work as their calling and to do it as unto the Lord.”

Butt wrote several books on Christian leadership, including one detailing his struggles with depression. He produced folksy radio spots called “The High Calling of Our Daily Work,” emphasizing building a career based on Christian values. The Butt family fortune is estimated at $11 billion. A memorial service for Howard E. Butt Junior will be held Saturday at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio.