Joan Brenda Butcher, long-time resident of Yukon and surrounding area, died peacefully on Thursday, October 12, 2023. She was 84 years old.
Brenda was born in 1938 in Wichita Falls, Texas, to Fred McKinley Miller and Alice Lucille Koch, and raised in Oklahoma City. She graduated from John Marshall High School, class of 1957. Afterwards, she worked as a medical assistant to Dr. Marcus Cox and attended classes at Central State University, majoring in Music Education. On June 4, 1958, Brenda left her work and studies to marry Walter Miller. Their wedding was held at Faith Tabernacle in Oklahoma City. Brenda and Walter spent the next 5 years making homes in Oklahoma City, Indianapolis and Saint Louis and then Yukon as Walter was transferred between locations by his employer, Kerr-McGee Oil Company. In 1964, Brenda and Walter entered the Catholic Church and became members of St John Nepomuk Catholic Church in Yukon. Sadly, in 1965, Brenda lost her husband, Walter.
In 1969, Brenda married William Hill. Though the marriage did not last, it did produce Brenda’s much-loved daughter, Tracy. Brenda spent the next several years raising her four children and returned to her undergraduate studies in 1972. She completed prerequisites for nursing school at El Reno Junior College and the University of Oklahoma, was accepted to the College of Nursing in 1975 completing her Bachelor of Science, Registered Nurse, in 1977. Afterwards, she accepted a position as a Public Health Nurse at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. In 1981, the health department sent Brenda back to the University of Oklahoma where she received a graduate certificate as a Gynecology-Obstetrics Nurse Practitioner.
In 1976, Brenda married Jim Butcher and added three additional children to love. In 1983, Jim’s employer, the Department of the Air Force, sent Jim, Brenda and their youngest daughter, Tracy, to England. While Jim spent his days working redesign issues for aerospace maintenance facilities in England, Brenda used her nursing skills and education skills in the Department of Defense Schools for Dependents as a substitute school nurse and teacher, while teaching Religious Education classes at the base chapel. When not working, Brenda, Jim and Tracy learned about the history and culture of England; also, using it as a jumping off point for further travel to the continent.
Following their return home to Oklahoma in 1988, Jim returned to his work at Tinker AFB while Brenda took a position at the Birthing Center at Deaconess Hospital. Additionally, Brenda began classes in Pastoral Ministry at the Pastoral Center in Oklahoma City. Tragically, in 1998, Brenda again became a widow. In 2001, she retired from nursing. Both before and in retirement she was involved in many lay ministry activities at St John Nepomuk. Among her many roles, Brenda was a Eucharistic Minister, an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion to the Sick, a music teacher at St John Nepomuk School and a member of the parish choir.
Brenda was preceded in death by her parents, Fred Miller and Alice Koch, by her husbands, Walter Miller and Jim Butcher, By her brothers, Gerald Eaton and Fred Miller, Jr, and by her dear aunt, Willie Manley. She is survived by her seven children: Mitchell Miller (Laura), Mark Miller (Laura), Nick Miller (Christine) Tracy Butcher, Jimmie Butcher, Jr, Jeff Butcher (Susan), and Trina Henderson (Ken); by 21 grandchildren: Tony Miller, Amanda Miller, Chris Miller, Britanny Butcher, Savannah Miller, Brendan Miller, Emily Miller, Drew Miller, Chloe Miller, Emma Miller, David Butcher, Ryan Butcher, Chris Butcher, Aaron Butcher, Tyler Butcher, Logan Butcher, Ashley Butcher, Brian Butcher, MacKenzie Henderson, Jesse Henderson, Dustin Henderson. And, by her great-grandchildren, Drake Butcher, London Butcher, Elijah Miller, Rowan Miller and Annalise Miller.
Viewing will be held 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at the funeral home. A Rosary service will be held at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, October 18 at St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church, Yukon, followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m., with interment at the Yukon Cemetery.
Online condolences may be signed at www.yandafuneral.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Yanda & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Yukon, OK.