Samuel Butler Sr. was born July 19‚ 1959‚ to Jessie Mae Mauldin. He was married to Brenda Strickland Butler for 32 years. Sam was the father of three children‚ Samuel Jr.‚ Clerissa‚ and Aaron. He also had three grandchildren. Sam was employed for 29 years with Campbell Soup Company of Maxton and also worked part- time with O’Reilly’s Auto Parts in Pembroke.
Sam joined the Evans Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department in 1991. After two decades‚ Sam became passionate about firefighting and instilled the same desire in his sons and grandson. After serving as assistant chief‚ secretary‚ and captain‚ Sam was appointed chief of Evans Crossroads Fire Department in January 2011. He had been president of the Robeson County Fireman’s Association since 2006. Sam served as a board member of the Robeson County Fire and Rescue College and Robeson County Honor Guard. He was a former secretary of the Southeastern North Carolina Regional Board and was named one of Robeson County’s Heroes in 2005. Amongst all of this‚ he still managed to be a husband‚ father‚ grandfather‚ and friend.
He was proud of his family‚ life‚ friends‚ and definitely his fire department. Sam enjoyed helping others and participating in school events. He was president of PTO‚ assistant coach for the football and baseball team‚ and a Boy Scout volunteer.
His legacy will live on because of the impact he had on others in and around the Evans Crossroads community and Robeson County. Sam did everything fast and definitely made friends fast. ‘If he didn’t know you‚ he would get to know you before you left his presence‚’ spoken by a friend.
Sam loved being a fireman‚ and it was a duty he took to heart. Sam offered guidance to young firemen‚ sharing his love for helping others. This was his calling. ‘Some people are called to preach‚ some are called to guide‚ some are called to save the world‚ and then there is my dad…. He lectured to his friends on how important it is to love what you do. He guided all of us on how to love life wholeheartedly. He saved the world‚ or in my eyes he did! He constantly lost hours of sleep to fight fires and provide aide to the community and county when tragedy struck. So‚ YES! He saved the world!’ his daughter Clerissa said so passionately.
Throughout his career‚ Chief Sam Butler Sr.‚ brought honor to the Evans Crossroads Fire Department‚ the community‚ Robeson County‚ and North Carolina. His life was tragically cut short in the line of duty. He put others first and stood for what was right.
Greater love hath no man than this‚ that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13