Morristown High School alumni are mourning the loss of their beloved art teacher Vincent J. Butler, remembering him as a calm presence in the hallways.
Butler died peacefully May 11 at his Morristown home. He was 83 years old.
"Mr. Butler was that one teacher a student can only dream about having," Roseann Palumbo Montemarano said.
"He was the epitome of a gentleman and a caring soul. He treated his students with the same kindness and respect given to him."
If not for Butler, Montemarano may not have pursued her career in art, she said.
A world traveler, Butler headed the MHS art department from the 1960s through the 1980s. His students dubbed him "King of the Art House," and introduced a generation of teens to classical music and the opera, his obituary says.
Butler brought calmness and confidence to his students during times of duress.
"What a unique opportunity was mine having the pleasure of being in the presence of Mr. Butler," Brenda Carter wrote on his obituary tribute wall.
"His voice soothed even the roughest student, he was one of a kind... Rest easy my friend/teacher/colleague."
"His compassion was tremendous, his laughter was infectious," Audrey Meeker Adams added.
"Mr. Butler had a way of teaching and communicating with students that was exceptional to say the least," added Ted France on Facebook.
"I saw him bring calm to many situations in classrooms and in the in hallways. He had that talent and skill. Where he got it? One of those mysteries.
"We can all be glad he had it. And that we had him."
A celebration of life is pending. Donations in Mr. Butler's memory can be made to the Morris Educational Foundation, c/o Morristown High School, 50 Early St., Morristown, NJ 07960.
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