our Roots

The Butler Foundation was originally named for Bill Butler’s father, Robert M. Butler, whose legacy lives on in his family and in the Foundation’s charitable work.  

Robert Matthew Butler was born in 1909 to Irish immigrant Columbus (“Columb”) Butler and Ohio-native Lucy Heaphy Butler.  The youngest of 8 children, Robert was no stranger to hardship.  His father earned a living as a grocer in Covington, Kentucky, but died before Robert was 9 years old.  At that young age, Robert already felt a sense of responsibility toward his siblings and his widowed mother,  and a desire to contribute to the family’s financial stability.  His work ethic and compassionate heart grew strong in those early days.  

Family Values

Robert married Martha Frances Luschek in 1937, and together they had nine children in 13 years.  A hardworking plumber and a man of deep faith, he was driven to help neighbors in need.  He was known for his generosity and caring nature, often accepting home-grown vegetables, baked goods, or an “IOU” if a customer could not afford his services.  He volunteered with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and when he would go into people’s homes – whether as a Vincentian or a plumber – he noticed when a family needed food, warm clothes, or other basics.  He then made it his mission to meet those needs. 

It is this model of generosity that Bill, his brother Marty and other siblings, and their next generation children are carrying forward in current times.