May Merlene Bodell Butterfield, at age 88, peacefully passed away on Saturday, November 9 in Riverton, Utah. May was born to Lottie and Muril Bodell on July 6, 1931 in Herriman, Utah. May graduated from Jordan High School.
On October 13, 1949, May married the love of her life, Merrill Butterfield, in Salt Lake City, Utah Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Together they had four loving children; Ben Butterfield, Maida (Rodney) Lawrence, Lee Butterfield, and Amy Butterfield. May was blessed to have seven grandchildren, twenty-one great-grandchildren, nine great-great-grandchildren and one more on the way in July.
May and Merrill started their family in Herriman, Utah. In 1958, they moved to Paul, Idaho where they homesteaded a farm. May loved the farm life and she also worked at local potato processing plants, Kraft Foods, and at Almagamated Sugar Co. May was a very hard worker and loved to put in a full day of work with an uplifting spirit. After they sold the farm, they moved into a neighborhood closer to town. They would spend the summers in Idaho and the winter months in Yuma, Arizona. They then sold the neighborhood home and moved to Mesquite, Nevada. Where she worked in the casinos just to make a few bucks and stay busy. They sold both of their homes and moved back to Rupert, Idaho to be closer to family.
May loved to have family gatherings. May was a real entertainer. May loved to have the grandchildren stay with her, she would call all of them her “little angels”. Almost all of the grandchildren have lived with May and Merrill for the summer helping around the farm and the house. All the grandchildren couldn’t wait to go see grandma and grandpa. She loved to teach the kids how to drive around the farm, many times the kids couldn’t even see over the steering wheel. May had the grandchildren convinced that the Meadowlark bird would sing “Idaho is a pretty place”.
May loved to plant flowers and make the house look beautiful. She was always so proud of her flowers and loved to watch them grow. May also was a wonderful cook and loved to feed anyone that would stop by the house. May taught her kids many of the grandchildren how to cook. May could cook veggies that the kids would eat. She also kept a very clean and tidy home. May would give the kids that stayed with her chores to do. This is an example of why all the kids and grandchildren have a strong work ethic and are not afraid to get in and get the job done.
Once May came to Salt Lake City, Utah to help after her daughter, Maida, had surgery. May wanted the house clean for Maida’s arrival home. Mike and Steve were being less than helpful. May had no problem grabbing the vacuum pipe and hitting Mike in the head, in a loving way of course. Both grandsons were bigger than her at the time and both understand now that dynamite comes in small packages. Both quickly snapped out of it and got the house cleaned. May was not afraid to speak her mind and she had a remarkable way to get her point across in such a loving way.
May also found great joy in surprising people. She loved to watch the expressions on their face with the surprise. Amy spoke about a time when she was fourteen and being a brat. May had asked Amy to help bring in the groceries. After a temper tantrum, Amy went to the car to find a brand-new saddle that May had bought for her horse. May never had to do the big things to make us feel special. It was the tone in her sweet voice and her very sweet body language that made us feel so special to her.
May loved to shop garage sales and would take the grandkids and great-grandkids with her. She would allow them to pick an item and she would buy it for them. May couldn’t drive by one without stopping, always looking for a deal.
May was preceded in death by her parents Lottie and Muril Bodell, siblings Kenny Bodell, Ron Bodell, Lola Nell, Colleen Parry, husband Merrill Butterfield, children Ben Butterfield, Maida Lawrence, Lee Butterfield, and granddaughter Andrea Hart.
She was survived by her siblings Kathy Kussatz, Kim (Donna) Bodell, Chuck (Dianne) Bodell, daughter Amy Butterfield, son-in-law Rodney Lawrence, grandchildren Mike (Becca) Lawrence, Steve Lawrence, Marti (Jeff) Beesley, Tommy (Tiffani) Lawrence, Alice (Aaron) Higgins, and Aaron (Heather) Smith. As well as her many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
May requested no funeral services to be held. As a family we will be holding a gathering to honor and celebrate her legacy in the months to come.
We want to express our gratitude to all friends, family, neighbors who have supported May throughout her life. To those at Pomerelle (Burley, ID), Diane Home Health Care nurse (Rupert ID), The Sheridan (South Jordan, UT) and Rocky Mountain Rehab (Riverton, UT) who treated her as their own family, supported, and cared for her. As well as her care team at Riverton Hospital for their ongoing patience and outstanding care.
A graveside inurnment service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 12, 2020 at the Rupert Cemetery. Local arrangements are under the direction of Joel Heward Hansen Mortuary.
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