06/05/1964 - 03/06/2024

Murray Allen Butler, of Chandler Arizona, age 59 years, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on March 6, 2024, following a year-long battle with cancer. He was born on June 5, 1964 on Staten Island, NY and grew up in a military family that enabled him to travel and live internationally. He graduated from high school in Kaiserslautern, West Germany and from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He had already taught his eight-month old grandson the “Sic ‘em, Bears” cheer!

Although Murray had several jobs in life, his most memorable was the nearly 23 years he spent working at Toyota Financial Services. He enjoyed his job as a Sr Analyst but what kept him from retiring were the numerous life-long friends he made and the sarcasm, laughter, and beers (or whiskey) he shared with each of them.

Murray had several hobbies outside of work, too. He loved making dry rubs, BBQ sauces, and smoking meats of any kind, although brisket was his favorite. He was also a self-taught woodworker and had an affinity for old, antique tools. He always had several different projects going on simultaneously and a growing list of more projects he’d think of along the way. Murray grew up with a love for music and kept an extensive collection of old CD’s and albums. He played piano growing up and went to Baylor University with the goal of majoring in piano. However, he also played football and eventually had to choose between doing something he loved, or something he enjoyed doing once in a while; football won! Murray was also an avid gardener. Anytime he could be outside planting or cultivating roses or lavender, he was the happiest and most relaxed. If he had to choose a hobby he was the most passionate about though, it would have to be Baylor Bears college football and beer. January 1st of every year, he would start the countdown to the first day of college football. Once football season arrived, all future family vacations, weekend outings and gatherings, were planned around the Bears’ schedule. He was not just a fan, it was who he was; this was a way of life!

Keeping his family close at heart, whether near or far, was very important to him. When pulled from his grill and smoker, he loved traveling with his wife Steph and their friends or just exploring beer gardens, music festivals, and new restaurants. He would chat it up with his brother Mark during Baylor football games and talk with his sister Anna about the olive bread she makes while listening to her tell stories about how he would only play with her on Saturdays when they were growing up. He kept up with his mother’s quest for wanting to become a published writer, which she did recently and let her know how proud of her he was for her accomplishment. And he was always curious what kind of projects his dad had started. He had a finger on the pulse of all his children in all of their endeavors and goals and supported them in any way he could. He was private, he was a family man, he was a friend, husband, brother, son, uncle, grandson, and father. He was everything to so many people and will be greatly missed.

He leaves behind his wife of 30 years, Stephannie Stookey Butler; two daughters Lauren Damaskinos and Brittany (Noah) Ackerman, son Jack Rhesa Butler; grandson Myles Alan Ackerman, his parents Allen and Virginia Buter, sister Anna Butler (Mark) Lane, brother Mark Daniel (Kelly) Butler, cousins Sandie and Donna Jones, Sallie Pennebaker Wilkerson, Jonathan Page, Jennifer Pennebaker Whitehead, and numerous other cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

Murray didn’t want a service or celebration. And if you knew him, this doesn’t surprise you. He did however, request that when his wife was ready, to “go ahead and have a party, but don’t let it get out of hand.” There will be a party held in his honor in the near future and you will all be invited to have a drink and celebrate him in your own way.


  • The Ledbetter’s

    I wish I would’ve had more time to know him. We love you.

  • Travis cheshire

    Murray was a dear friend of mine. Murray and I began to bond over football and music when he was actually my supervisor. We spent many years in this type of relationship until I finally learned enough from him to get promoted. I was then lucky enough to have our relationship dynamic turn into a true friendship. We ended up running part of an office together and working side by side for years. We would work, joke, teach, lead and play tricks on each other occasionally. There was that one time when a couple screws went missing from my chair after I covered his entire desk in pictures of a musical artist he didn’t care for. And while I’m not truly sure what, if anything I ever taught Murray, he continued to teach me throughout our friendship. He taught me how to be a good boss, be a good friend, deal with difficult situations and turn them into positive ones and he really helped me embrace my sense of humor as well as a sense of self. He taught me how to use a smoker and how to smoke my first ham. He taught me why I was always burning my bacon. He always encouraged to stand up for what I believed in and made sure to always point out when I wasn’t. Murray made me grow as a person in a way that isn’t all that common anymore. He really did take me under his dry humor wing and let me embrace parts of myself I maybe wasn’t so willing to show people. Murray and I continued to work very close to each other for many many years and I was really lucky to have him in my life and I am really luck to be able to call him a true friend. Murray had a tremendous impact on my life both professionally and personally. And while I am extremely grateful for the impact he had on me professionally, the biggest impact he had on me was being my friend. Murray, I miss you and I love you my friend. Your impact will never be forgotten. So…. So long, and thanks for all the fish! Sic ’em Bears!

  • Murray….the handful of times I was blessed to hang with you over the years are all remembered and fondly recalled. What a great guy you were to sit and pass the time with over a few beers. I’ll miss you, my fine friend

  • Barbara Matthews

    My condolences go out to Steph and family. Praying for peace of mind and healing in your heart.

  • dalia shoemake

    Such a kind man. He made the world a better place.

  • An office and a shared love for college football, beer, whisky (or gasoline as he was known to call it), and the grill brought Murray and I together. He left us all to early, but we were all lucky to have him in our lives. Rest in peace, Murray. Until we meet again in that great smokehouse/beer garden in the sky…

  • Shina Coclough

    I did not get to Murray, but I have heard nothing but great things about him. Sending my sincerest condolences to Stephannie and family. I hope that you all can find solace in the fact that he is not battling anymore.

  • Shelly Hargrove

    I start to type something and then erase it and start again… finding adequate words seems so very difficult right now! 30 years of life with my beautiful best friend… little did you know way back then, that it would be 30 years of putting up with me! Thank you for all the talks, the laughs, the stories and the love! What an incredible husband, father, pops! Those who knew you were truly blessed! Miss you like crazy but oh so happy you are now healed! Can’t wait to celebrate you and it’s definitely going to get out of hand… but you already knew that! Love you always!

  • Robert Whetstine

    So many good memories of knowing you have replayed in my head. From college football, the Spurs Suns rivalry, smoking meat, how coffe should be drank, and so much more. You will be missed but you left behind so much good. Thank you Murray for such great memories.

  • Murray was one of the best leaders I have had within my career, and it is truly heartbreaking that he has passed. He always had a warm smile or generous sarcasm to make your day brighter. I will miss you my friend and grateful that I had an opportunity to know you. Blessings and condolences go out to your family and friends.

  • Praying for the family of Murray Butler. I got the pleasure to work with him on a few items for Toyota. He was always pleasant and professional. To know that he was battling cancer and was so positive and nice just shows the type of person he is.

  • Denise Winfield

    My condolences to the Butler family. Murray was a pleasure to work with. My continued prayers for his family.

  • I was blessed enough to have had the opportunity to work with Murray. He made every day a good day. I appreciated his sense of humor, outlook on life, and quick wit. My condolences to Stephannie and family. We will miss you, Murray.

  • Erika J Fenwick

    Murray, I finally got to meet you during our work via chat… just as pleasant via video as all the emails we shared. Your wife is a gem and your grandson is adorable… you’re missed for sure!

  • My heart goes out to Steph and Murray’s family. He was truly the nicest guy with a sarcastic sense of humor at times, so laid back and just genuinely a nice person. Might I add that he was incredibly organized when it came to working on projects. I feel fortunate to have worked along side him. He will be missed more than he would ever know.

  • Sending prayers to the Butler Family. I only worked with Murray for a short time, however always pleasant with a great sense of humor, and an expressed love for his family.

  • Still shocked that the kindest, slice of humble pie in human form has now become a real life angel… Mr Murray was one of my fav people in the TFS family who will definitely be missed. My condolences to the family…I’m truly blessed to have met & worked with both he and Steph… So “My G” as I called him, take ya rest…Matthew 25:21…❤️

  • Vicount Cornwall

    God bless you and yours, Murray ‘the Wise” Butler. You always made the time we spent together at Baylor and afterwards more fun and interesting. Cheers.

  • Vaya con Dios y Sic ‘em Bears, Brother Murray.

  • Sylvia Parlavecchio

    Stephanie and family,
    I didn’t know Murray personally but I did see him often passing in the hallway at work. And then I met Stephanie and put the two together, both filled with energy and charisma.
    Know others care. Know I care and am deeply saddened by your loss.

  • I had the amazing pleasure to be neighbors wi the Steph and Murray in chandler on Vine Street when all our kids were middle school and high school age. Steph and I immediately became good friends. I remember Murray smoking meat which always smelled amazing. (And I don’t eat meat). We would trade plant secretes occasionally as well. Merry was so miles mannered and calm, fair and generous. He will be missed. Murray you have an amazing family and so many memories to be cherished. Thanks for being an important part of our lives as amazing neighbors. ❤️ Dana

  • I will never forget Murray, I worked for him for years, he will always be one of the smartest people I have ever known, his dry wit was hilariously funny and he was my favorite person to discuss policy and politics with. I learned so much from him.
    In spite of his bad music takes ( most would say mine are ) I always felt if I had been lucky enough to have a brother, he would be just like Murray.
    I hope he meets up with my husband up there and they share many laughs about what a pain in the neck I could be for them both.
    BDE Murray, you will always be missed.

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