Dale Marion Butler died suddenly of natural causes on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Dale was a progressive working-class trade unionist. In the trade union movement for over 40 years, he lead many electoral and legislative campaigns. He rode his bicycle everywhere for many years, some years averaging over 4,000 miles. He always took the time to adore his three grandkids, now 12, 10 and 7 years old.
Dale was born in Napa on Nov. 15, 1946 and grew up in Winters, Calif. He attended public schools in Winters. He was very successful both academically and in sports. Ultimately, he was awarded a swimming scholarship to CSU Chico.
He went to CSU Chico and received both a bachelor’s and master’s in economics — in his words, “with a bent towards Marxism.” He eventually was a faculty member at CSU and became a shop steward with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). In Chico, Dale also had an organic farm with three acres producing almost everything: fruit and nut trees, vegetables, and berries and he raised goats, chickens, ducks, and geese. Dale was a working-class “hippie” at the time.
In 1978, Dale with wife Conny Ford and 14-month-old Emma, moved to San Francisco. In 1981, Dale and Conny decided to expand their family by welcoming a child who needed a home. They legally adopted their son James Marion Butler, naming him after Dale’s father Francis Marion Butler.
Dale took a job with SEIU representing City Workers in San Francisco. Over time, he represented public employees, health care workers, non-profit workers, among many others.
In 2007, Dale retired from the union movement, due to health reasons, but continued to be active as an editor of Bicyclist Magazine and then an organizer of many bike adventures.
Dale is survived by his wife of over 32 years Tina Panziera; his two children Emma Ruth Ford and James Marion Butler; his three grandchildren Em Talula Butler, Gabriel Ford Silvers, and Eli Ford Silvers; his sister Kay Graf, his brother Glen Butler, and many nieces, nephews and their children.
A celebration of life will be at 2 p.m. on Aug. 21, 2022 at 631 O’Farrell Street in the Ballroom/Patio in San Francisco.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity.