H. Kenneth Butera Profile Photo
1932 H. 2024

H. Kenneth Butera

January 11, 1932 — January 29, 2024

Philadelphia, PA

H. Kenneth Butera died January 29, 2024, at the age of 92, following a battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was born on January 11, 1932, to the late Harry Butera and Anne Butera (Constable) in Norristown Pennsylvania. Ken is survived by his wife, Karol Wasylyshyn; mother of his five children, Norma Butera (McClellan) daughters Dianne, (Allan Irving), Paula, (Gerard Kunkel Jr.) Ellen; sons J. Kenneth, (Alissa Halperin) and J. Thomas (Sue Ann Butera). He grew up with seven siblings, Dorris Bonner (deceased) Margie McDonald, Barbara Ferriter, Robert, Richard, John, and Raymond (deceased). He had nine grandchildren Andrew Kunkel (Katherine Hornick), Giuliana Kunkel, Harrison Kunkel, Dylan Butera, Beatrice Irving, Jack Butera, Anthony Butera, Isabelle, Butera, and Luca Butera, who referred to him affectionately, as “Just Ken!”   


Ken grew up in Norristown, Pennsylvania, graduated from Norristown High School in 1949, Dickinson College in 1953, and Dickinson School of Law in 1956. He served in the U.S. Army stationed in Verona, Italy from 1956 until 1958.  Upon his return to the Philadelphia area with his young family, he established the law firm known today as Butera Beausang Cohen and Brennan in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. His law practice concentrated on restaurant and liquor licensing matters, business formation, estate planning and real estate transactions. He has been instrumental in the creation of countless new restaurants and other businesses in the Philadelphia area. Many of his clients became lifelong friends.  


Ken served on various boards: He was a member of the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council; Chair of the Pathway School Board of Directors; Director and Vice Chairman, Amici Advisory Board, Center of Italian Studies, University of Pennsylvania; Director and Vice President, Montgomery County Victim Services Center; Board Member, Montgomery County Girl Scouts of America; Board Member, Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Red Cross;  President, Montgomery County Estate Planning Association;  Board Member of the Civil War Museum in Philadelphia; Board Member of Women Organized Against Rape;  and as a Board Member of The AYER Condominium for 10 years where one of his fellow Board members described him as a “most wise, authentic, and committed Board member.”    


As a life-long devotee to all things Philadelphia, Ken delighted in offering extensive and detailed tours to many of the city’s “off the beaten path treasures.”  He was a passionate Philadelphia sports booster always eager to discuss and root for his Eagles, Phillies, and Sixers regardless of the season’s ups and downs.  His many interests included traveling, music, architecture, cooking and baking, gardening, and the arts. He was renowned for his curiosity, active debate, especially in the realm of political discourse, and commitment to the importance of understanding grammatical structure.  It was with great pride that for many years, he authored a column, “The Queen’s English,” eloquently explaining how a solid grasp on grammar leads to thoughtful and clear communication. Possessed with subtle dry-wit, he responded to his wife’s inquiry about his end-of-life wishes, by saying, “Just scatter my ashes in a Big Boy tomato patch.” Ken was gracious, discerning, and a beacon of kindness, honesty, and compassion among his wide network of family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors. He will be missed. A Life Celebration will be held in the spring; details to follow.  


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Society Hill Preservation Fund (restricted to the ‘Washington Square Gardens’) P.O. Box 39755, Philadelphia, PA 19106.  


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