UNL band member who died in car crash described as ‘beautiful human being’

October 31, 2018

Tyler Butterfield had an easy way about him. He was the kind of person who embraced life in a quiet and purposeful way.

So Friday, when he died at the age 20 in a car crash in Lincoln, the ache and loss were immediate.

Butterfield, a member of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Marching Band, came from a small, tight-knit family that is still coming to grips with his death, said his aunt, Jeanie Kester.

Buttlerfield’s death saddened members of the UNL band and brought an outpouring of sympathy, including from UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green, Husker football coach Scott Frost and Gov. Pete Ricketts.

A junior at UNL, Butterfield played the trumpet in the band. An accounting major, he was regularly on UNL’s Dean’s List.

He was a passenger in a car with two other band mates when their car collided with another vehicle at a Lincoln intersection. The others were injured but survived.

“Loving, kind, caring, compassionate and thoughtful” were among the words in a joint tribute by family and friends.

“He was a delightful young man and beautiful human being who was dearly loved by family and friends and will be truly missed,” Jeanie Kester said.

Butterfield is survived by his mother, Tammy, and sister, Taylor. His father, Terry, died in 2017.

Other survivors include his paternal grandparents, Dean and Judy Butterfield; maternal grandparents, Gale and Elaine Young; aunts, uncles and cousins; and his cat, Whiskers.

Music is a shared interest of his extended family, so it was not uncommon for Tyler, his sister and cousins to perform for others in the family.

He played piano, drums, and trombone, but his most treasured instrument was his silver trumpet.

“The time and talent he shared gave his family great joy and many treasured memories,” Jeanie Kester wrote in a tribute.

Among his many interests were video games, Star Wars, Legos, and sports, including the Detroit Lions and Golden State Warriors, but especially the Cornhuskers.

In 2016, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 122 in Norfolk.

Services were Wednesday at First Christian Church in Norfolk.