On June 1, 1933, a tenth child was born to Israel and Easter Roberts Butler. They named him Earnest Lawrence Butler. He changed his name to Ernest Lee Butler.
As a child, he was a member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Sandy Point, Texas, where he sang in a group with his siblings. As an adult, he united with Mt. Corinth Baptist Church and later moved his membership to Mt. Vernon Baptist Church.
Ernest was always a dreamer. At 6 years old, his father went blind, and Ernest went to Jack Williams in the rice field and asked if he could use another man. He got the job! At the age of 1, he purchased his first car. At 24, he bought his first home for his mother. And at 26, he became a business owner and remained so until his passing.
In 1959, he married Helen Marie Payne. He later met and married Loretta Miles and they remained married for 53 years until her passing. No children were born to either union.
He is preceded in death by his parents Isreal and Easter Butler; five sisters Josephine, Adrie, Mariah, Esther, and Jessie Lee; four brothers George, Booker T, Israel and Robert; and the mother of his only child, Charlie Lee Hayes.
He leaves to mourn his passing, his daughter, Mody Ester Butler Caldwell of Rosharon, goddaughter Deborah Ali-Williams, granddaughters Latricia (James) Williams of Angleton, Shani (Gilbert) Woodard and Jimmye (Jeffery) Randall of Rosharon, six great-grandsons, three great-granddaughters, one great-great-grandson, two great-great-granddaughters, seven stepchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, stepgrands, relatives and close friends.
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