Robert F. Butts Jr. died in St. Joseph's Hospital in Elmira, NY, on May 26, 2008, at age 88, of cancer.
He was the oldest of three sons born to Robert F. Butts Sr. and Estella Moffat Butts. He grew up in Sayre, Pennsylvania, and was a graduate of the Pratt Art Institute in Brooklyn. During World War II, Rob served in the Air Force as an Instrument Specialist, repairing airplanes in the Pacific Islands. After the war he worked in New York City as an illustrator in such diverse venues as medical textbooks and the comics, including panels for Batman and the Mike Hammer series.
He met his first wife, the writer Jane Roberts, at a party in Saratoga Springs, NY, in 1953. They were married on December 27, 1954, at the home of Rob's parents in Sayre, Pa. In 1960 the couple rented an apartment in Elmira, New York, where Rob worked for many years as a part-time illustrator for the Artistic Greeting Cards Company. Commercial work aside, Rob was an accomplished artist in oils, watercolor, egg tempera, and other media, producing a large body of paintings during his lifetime, which with a few exceptions he chose not to sell. He is probably best known as the co-author of the Seth material, the lifework of his wife Jane Roberts, for which he provided extensive and meticulously-researched comments, footnotes, appendices and manuscript editing, not to mention transcribing the Seth sessions themselves by hand, in his own home-made shorthand, then typing up each (usually quite lengthy) session, two carbon copies per page, on an old manual typewriter. Today the books he helped produce have sold over seven and a half million copies worldwide in more than a dozen languages, and the entire collection of his and Jane's work resides in the Sterling library's Jane Roberts archives at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Jane died on September 5, 1984. Rob is survived by his second wife, Laurel Davies-Butts, whom he married in 1999.
View Cenotaph at HERE.
Dorothy Jane Roberts Butts
1929–1984 (m. 1955)
Gravesite Details Though Robert Butts Jr. and Jane Roberts Butts are interred together in the Wayne County, NY, Furnaceville cemetery, there is a headstone with their names on it in the Sunnyside cemetery in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania.