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Our History

We invite you to discover who has made Mary Butler Meyers Family Funeral Home the ultimate provider of creating healing experiences in the community.  This section contains the heritage, vision and the people behind Mary Butler Meyers Family Funeral Home's reputation of quality, sincerity and trust.

The Early Years

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It was over 100 years ago that Joseph A. Butler, Sr. (left) founded his funeral home at 753 Central in Kansas City, Kansas.

In 1922 his son, Harry Butler (below right), formally joined his father in the business. They opened a second location at 22 South 18th Street, in Kansas City, Kansas and the name for both the locations became Joseph A. Butler and Son. The funeral homes continued under their management and that name until Joseph A. Butler, Sr.’s death in 1938.

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His death brought change to the name of the firm, when Mrs. Joseph A. Butler Sr. gave her half of the partnership to another son. The partnership, reflected in the new name, became known as Joseph A. Butler’s Sons.

A Bit of History

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Harry following in the footsteps of his father, Joseph A. Butler, Sr. was quite active in political and civic affairs of the community. Closest to his heart was the Police and Fire Canteen. Along with his wife Gladys, for years they had served coffee and soda from the trunk of their car when the police and fireman were on extended duty. In the early 1940’s Harry founded and funded the police and fire canteen. He converted an old City bus to enable them to add soup and sandwiches to the menu. They carried underwear and socks so the men could come onto the bus and change. Their under garments often froze to their bodies when they got wet from the water fighting the fire. A canteen committee was formed consisting of active community members who deemed it an honor to serve--even when called out in the middle of the night. The Mayor and Police Chief were always active members.

Does Anyone Remember?

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Atwater Kent Radios…and the Atwater Kent Hour’s Contest for Best Male and Female Vocalists? It was a long time ago, so if you don’t know about the remarkable radios and the even more remarkable Atwater Kent Hour we’re not surprised. During the late 1920s, the radio show had a nationwide contest, designed to find the best of the best, the crème de la crème, of American singing talent. Gladys Morrison Butler, wife of Harry Butler, and mother to Mary and Tom, won the honor of Best Female Vocalist, and became very well- known throughout greater Kansas City.

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Gladys in her early 20s performed with the Civic Opera and toured as a member of the R.K.O. Circuit. These were artist who preformed live between movies at R.K.O. Theaters across the country. In this capacity, she had the opportunity to meet Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Buddy Rogers, and many others who were also beginning their careers in this venue. She sang for a short time on C.B.S. as the singing voice on a radio soap, called Modern Cinderella. These programs were very popular during that era. This necessitated living in Chicago. Being away from her family was not for her. She returned to Kansas City where she sang at funerals, weddings, political and civic occasions, such as the dedication of the New Wyandotte High School in 1937. She sang at the National Birthday Ball for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934 and for many years she sang at the annual Harry Truman’s Birthday Breakfast in Kansas City. She was asked by the Chambers of Commerce to represent Kansas City, Kansas on the Major Bowes Armature hour, when Kansas City, Kansas was the featured City. Even more interesting is the fact that Harry Butler had a weekly radio show broadcast from the South 18th facility, and Gladys was often a featured singer. Harry also proudly engaged Gladys to serve as the vocalist for the funeral home. She continued to sing at many of our funerals and memorial services for many years.

The Later Years

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In 1962, Harry founded the Harry Butler Associated Funeral Home in North Kansas City, Missouri. In 1964 he opened an additional facility at 6300 Parallel, Kansas City, Kansas, the Harry Butler and Sons Funeral Home. Harry, and his son, Thomas, managed the three locations until Harry’s death in 1971. Sadly, his death occurred just 3 months short of his 50th anniversary in the Funeral Business. Late in 1971 Harry’s son, Tom, decided to pursue his life-long dream of commanding his own craft in ocean waters. Adventurously, he moved to the Virginia Beach–Norfolk, Virginia area and became a Yacht Broker. He lived his dream until his untimely death some fifteen years later. Also in 1971, at that same time, Harry’s daughter Mary Butler Meyers assumed management duties of the firm. She continued in that role until December 1984, when the 18th Street Chapel was sold and the Parallel Chapel was leased to a small corporation, Centurion. This corporate tenure lasted a mere two years when Centurion was acquired by a large international corporation.This corporate tenure lasted mere 14 years.

 In 1998, when it was time to renew the 6300 Parallel lease, the family decided to reacquire that location. It was their goal to once again offer personalized service to families. Unfortunately the family name was sold at that time and were not able to let families know they had reopened as the original family owned firm.

Mary Butler Meyers, joined by her husband Max, daughter Kathleen and granddaughter Marya, reopened as a family-owned and family-managed firm. Max Meyers passed away in 2014 and Mary Butler Meyers passed away in 2016. It is with much care and compassion, Kathleen and Marya ( 4th & 5th generation ) carry on their families tradition.

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President & Mrs. Harry Truman as they attended Governor Docking’s Funeral which was under Joseph A. Butler Sons direction.

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