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Alumni Couple Celebrate First Kiss, 66th Wedding Anniversary

Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2009 [11:32 PM]

Alumni Cortez & Ruth Butler001 Octber 22, 2009

OCTOBER 22, 2009
LINDSEY WILSON ALUMNI COUPLE
CELEBRATES 66TH ANNIVERSARY, FIRST KISS
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Two Lindsey Wilson College alumni took a walk down memory lane Thursday afternoon on the A.P. White Campus.
Ruth and Cortez Butler, both of Edmonton, Ky., drove to Columbia with their children,
Tez Butler and Connie Coleman, also of Edmonton, to celebrate their wedding anniversary, which is Oct. 23.
The four celebrated 66 years of matrimony at Mulligan's restaurant. But before lunch, the Butlers showed their children where the couple shared their first kiss.
The kiss happened on an evening during the 1941-42 school year on what were once front basement steps leading into what is now the L.R. McDonald Administration Building. The front basement entrance to the 106-year-old building was closed more than 25 years ago, but a plaque hangs over the spot, commemorating the name of the campus.
White was president of the college when the Butlers were students.
Ruth Sewell Butler came to Lindsey Wilson from Waterview in Cumberland County, Ky., and Cortez Butler came to LWC from Tompkinsville in Monroe County. Back then, the college had but four buildings: the Administration Building, the Gymnasium (which including Hundley Dining Hall in the basement), the Girls' Dormitory (now Phillips Hall) and the Boys' Dormitory (which later became Chandler Hall before being razed in the early 1980s).
"I remember eating at the table with him one time," Ruth recalled Thursday morning. "Now the first year we were just good friends, and the second year we dated."
Cortez played basketball during his two years at LWC, first for Arthur Gullette, who founded LWC's basketball program; and then for John McQueary. In addition to two years on the basketball team, Cortez was also vice president of their 98-member sophomore class and was 1941 May Day king.
Ruth was crowned May Day queen in 1942, and she was also a member of the Pep Club, Library Club, Pine Cone yearbook staff and tennis club.
During their Thursday visit, the Butlers fondly recalled several Lindsey Wilson giants. In addition to White, they discussed the late physics professor and dean Asa Shelton, English professor Mary Meade and history professor Noma Dix Winston. 
They also remembered coming out of the Columbian Theater on the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, to learn that the U.S. naval base Pearl Harbor had been attacked by Japan's air and naval forces.
"I don't remember the movie, but I just remember Sunday afternoon coming out of the movie and people were yelling," Ruth said.
Ruth said she and the other residents of the Girls' Dormitory pleaded with the hall's matron, Jettie Josephine Duncan, to allow them to listen to the radio that night past the 10 p.m., the time when all lights and radios were turned off.
"We were naïve enough to think the war was going to be over that night," she said. "We wanted to hear the war end. … (Duncan) had lived through World War I and she said, 'Oh children -- children you have no idea what this means. Most of the boys over in that building (the Boys' Dormitory) will be going to war.' We had no idea what we were in for."
After graduation from Lindsey Wilson, Cortez enlisted in the Naval Air Force and got his wings.
"I couldn't drive a car, but I could fly a plane," he said.
After Cortez received his commission, he and Ruth were married in New Orleans on his way to an assignment in Florida. Cortez served in the South Pacific Theater until the war finally did end in 1945.
Cortez continued his basketball career at Tennessee Polytechnic Institute, now known as Tennessee Tech. After college, Cortez taught and coached basketball at the former Marrow Bone (Ky.) High School, and then taught and coached basketball at Metcalfe County High School before retiring as that school's guidance counselor.
"We loved it here and got so many good memories here," Ruth said.
***
CUTLINE FOR PICTURE
LWC BUTLERS -- Lindsey Wilson College 1942 alumni Cortez and Ruth Butler of Edmonton, Ky., stand at the location where they shared their first kiss.
-30-
Contact: Duane Bonifer
(270) 384-8212

LWC 1942 alumni Cortez and Ruth Butler of Edmonton, Ky., stand at the location where they shared their first kiss.


COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Two Lindsey Wilson College alumni took a walk down memory lane Thursday afternoon on the A.P. White Campus.

Ruth and Cortez Butler, both of Edmonton, Ky., drove to Columbia with their children,

Tez Butler and Connie Coleman, also of Edmonton, to celebrate their wedding anniversary, which is Oct. 23.

The four celebrated 66 years of matrimony at Mulligan's restaurant. But before lunch, the Butlers showed their children where the couple shared their first kiss.

The kiss happened on an evening during the 1941-42 school year on what were once front basement steps leading into what is now the L.R. McDonald Administration Building. The front basement entrance to the 106-year-old building was closed more than 25 years ago, but a plaque hangs over the spot, commemorating the name of the campus.

White was president of the college when the Butlers were students.

Ruth Sewell Butler came to Lindsey Wilson from Waterview in Cumberland County, Ky., and Cortez Butler came to LWC from Tompkinsville in Monroe County. Back then, the college had but four buildings: the Administration Building, the Gymnasium (which including Hundley Dining Hall in the basement), the Girls' Dormitory (now Phillips Hall) and the Boys' Dormitory (which later became Chandler Hall before being razed in the early 1980s).

"I remember eating at the table with him one time," Ruth recalled Thursday morning. "Now the first year we were just good friends, and the second year we dated."

Cortez played basketball during his two years at LWC, first for Arthur Gullette, who founded LWC's basketball program; and then for John McQueary. In addition to two years on the basketball team, Cortez was also vice president of their 98-member sophomore class and was 1941 May Day king.

Ruth was crowned May Day queen in 1942, and she was also a member of the Pep Club, Library Club, Pine Cone yearbook staff and tennis club.

During their Thursday visit, the Butlers fondly recalled several Lindsey Wilson giants. In addition to White, they discussed the late physics professor and dean Asa Shelton, English professor Mary Meade and history professor Noma Dix Winston. 

They also remembered coming out of the old Rialto movie theater, , which was on Columbia's downtown square, on the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, to learn that the U.S. naval base Pearl Harbor had been attacked by Japan's air and naval forces.

"I don't remember the movie, but I just remember Sunday afternoon coming out of the movie and people were yelling," Ruth said.

Ruth said she and the other residents of the Girls' Dormitory pleaded with the hall's matron, Jettie Josephine Duncan, to allow them to listen to the radio that night past the 10 p.m., the time when all lights and radios were turned off.

"We were naïve enough to think the war was going to be over that night," she said. "We wanted to hear the war end. … (Duncan) had lived through World War I and she said, 'Oh children -- children you have no idea what this means. Most of the boys over in that building (the Boys' Dormitory) will be going to war.' We had no idea what we were in for."

After graduation from Lindsey Wilson, Cortez enlisted in the Naval Air Force and got his wings.

"I couldn't drive a car, but I could fly a plane," he said.

After Cortez received his commission, he and Ruth were married in New Orleans on his way to an assignment in Florida. Cortez served in the South Pacific Theater until the war finally did end in 1945.

Cortez continued his basketball career at Tennessee Polytechnic Institute, now known as Tennessee Tech. After college, Cortez taught and coached basketball at the former Marrow Bone (Ky.) High School, and then taught and coached basketball at Metcalfe County High School before retiring as that school's guidance counselor.

"We loved it here and got so many good memories here," Ruth said.

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