Friends and family mourn Deal’s ‘most eligible bachelor’ – Kent Online
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A man known as “Deal’s most eligible bachelor” – who was engaged six times but never married – has been remembered by friends and family here and in Australia.
Arthur Butler, who lived in Lydia Road all of his life, died on Saturday July 25, following a five-year battle with cancer. It was the day after his 75th birthday.
Tributes have been made by his family in Australia as well as friends and colleagues in Deal.
Ted Brown of St Leonard’s Road, Deal, who employed Mr Butler at EH Brown Fencing in Mill Hill for 10 years before he retired, said the fact Mr Butler was engaged six times was typical of the man.
He said: “Arthur loved the girls but always with restraint and respect. He was never lustful. He was at one time Deal’s most eligible bachelor and, with his good looks, the girls loved him.”
Mr Butler was educated at the Catholic school in Glack Road, and in his younger years his varied jobs included working at sea, in catering, as a typewriter mechanic and in greenhouses.
Mr Brown said: “He was an innocent soul. I would say that he had many friends and admirers but absolutely no enemies.
“Often we included Arthur in our group attending the Proms at the Albert Hall and the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum. Arthur loved every minute of our trips.”
Other trips he enjoyed were those to Australia to visit his younger brother, Martin. He would travel every other year if he could.
One of the first times, he was persuaded to travel to Australia with his nephew, Adam, who had been on a gap year studying medicine in the UK.
Dr Adam Butler said: “I still remember my mum squealing with excitement as Arthur strode through the customs gates.”
The trip was the beginning of Mr Butler’s love affair with the country, and many visits and adventures followed.
Dr Butler added: “He loved both countries, and visited our shores from the age of 16 in the merchant marine to only three years ago.
“He loved to reminisce. We took a journey up to far north Queensland in 1997, when Arthur visited every port in Queensland that he had visited in his merchant marine days, aged 16.
“He would tell us all about the towns that he visited in the 1950s, and there was always a girl at the port that had broken his heart.
“We went to Port Alma and Arthur’s memory was so clear you almost expected that girl from a 16-year-old’s romance would still be there waving him off.
“Arthur was an uncle who felt more like a brother or best friend.”
Despite his diagnosis, Mr Butler was described as cheerful and optimistic in his final years.
He leaves behind one son, Oliver, and two granddaughters, Elise and Edie.
His funeral was held at Barham Crematorium on Tuesday, followed by a gathering at Deal Victoria and Barns Close Cricket Club.
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