Richard L. Butterfield

Butterfield, Richard Larkin PALM COAST, FL.

On May, 16, 2022, Richard Larkin Butterfield passed peacefully in the comfort of his home in Palm Coast, Fla. after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Born in Mansfield, Ohio on April 25, 1945, Rick was the cherished son of Richard E. and Shirley Larkin Butterfield. He graduated from Averill Park High School in Averill Park, NY and earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of the State of New York.

Rick proudly served his country as a member of the United States Army from 1963 to 1970. He was commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation from Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, GA in March 1965 and sent to Vietnam as a Pathfinder Team Leader, 11th Pathfinders 1st Cav. Division. He saw combat in the battles at LZ X-Ray, LZ Columbus and LZ Albany - la Drang Valley, where he and his team directed helicopter resupply and medical evacuation and rescue missions. It was here that he was wounded and did not leave his team until all other wounded soldiers were removed from the battlefield. Rick served his second tour in Vietnam in 1968 as Captain and company commander of E company 2nd Battalion 506 Inf. 101st Airborne. His company conducted many combat operations. After recovering from injuries at Camp Zama Japan he returned to Vietnam and served as Team Commander with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Green Berets assigned to MACV-SOG. Missions from this unit were classified. He earned 28 personal awards and decorations including the Purple Heart. He was inducted into the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame in 1995. Honorably discharged from active duty, he then served with the New York Army National Guard from 1970-1995 as a company commander, Battalion Commander 2nd of the 105th Infantry and as the commander of the 1st Brigade 42nd Infantry Division. He was breveted to the rank of brigadier general upon his retirement in 1995.  As a civilian, Rick spent 35 years with the New York State Police serving from 1970 to 2006. During his time on the force, he received certification at the Canine Handlers Basic School with his K-9 partner Frey who was trained in explosives detection. Rick moved into undercover work as an investigator with CNET and the BCI. His undercover initiatives were essential to many investigations, arrests and convictions in many areas of criminal activity. He also spent time as a Firearms Instructor, Rifle Sharpshooter, member of the Underwater Recovery Team and was the Police Benevolent Association Delegate, Troop G.  After retiring from the NYS Police Rick joined the Warren County Sheriff’s Office as Marine Patrol on Lake George and then was cross designated to go back undercover to work on a Task Force with NYS Police CNET where he again received commendation for his undercover work.  Rick was the Commodore (1997) and lifetime member of the Castleton Boat Club, lifetime member of the Nassau Sportsmen’s Club and past board member of Lebanon Valley Speedway. He was a member of the Renegade Pigs Motorcycle Club and enjoyed their annual Christmas visit to St. Margaret’s Center wearing his Santa hat. As a young police officer, he was involved in the search for serial killer Robert Garrow. This experience led him to be associate producer of the Adirondack Films production of Garrow.  Rick was truly happy riding his Harley cross country, boating, fishing, checking out new restaurants and spending time with his friends, family and his dog Harper who was by his side until the end.

He is survived by his wife Cathy Bullis Robinson Butterfield of Palm Coast, Fla., his daughter Lori Larkin Lasch (Mark) of Albany; his son, Hayden Tod Butterfield (Kelly) of Rensselaer; and daughter in law Roberta Butterfield of Minden, NV. He was predeceased by his son Eric Gardner Butterfield. Grandpa Rick is also survived by his grandchildren Emma (Connor) Stark, Robert and Grace Lasch, Hayden and Roan Butterfield, and Kasha and Zoe Butterfield.  He is survived by his mother Shirley Larkin Butterfield and is the brother of Sharon (Dennis) Urgento, R. Jay (Kelly) Butterfield, uncle to Stacey and Ryan (Sabrina) Urgento and Spencer Butterfield. He was predeceased by his father Richard E. Butterfield and nephew Colton Butterfield.

He also leaves many true close friends who were his family– you know who you are.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend Ricks visitation hours with Rick's family 3PM -7PM  on June 8, 2022, at the William J Rockefeller Funeral Home 165 Columbia Tpk Rensselaer, NY 12144.  Funeral Services with full military honors will be held June 9, 2022 at Saratoga National Cemetery at 2:30pm.

In lieu of flowers those wishing to remember Rick in a special way may send memorial contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project or a local charity of their choice.