25 august 1968 & sam butler funeral home
#OTD 25 August 1968 Sam Butler was owner of the Sam Butler Funeral Home (3900 Georgia Ave NW) in the Petworth neighborhood. Butler opened his business circa 1964. The first obituaries in the Evening Star newspaper appeared in 1965.
Butler was featured in Jet in 1974. Here's the blurb:
Courtesy Jet, 7 February 1974, p. 58. Fair use.
The funeral home was a neighborhood institution that had multiple uses. Butler offered funeral services and rented out space for weddings, receptions and other social events. How interesting that "soft jazz tunes" were played during wakes. On 18 July 1970, George Craft, a popular nightclub performer known as "The President ofthe Blues," passed away. His wake was held at the funeral home on Saturday 30 July.
Your comments are welcome below. Did you, family members or neighbors remember Sam Butler and his funeral home? Did you attend services, weddings or other events there? Do you have photographs, programs or other ephemera from these events? Do you remember hearing music waft from the home? Do you remember when the funeral closed and when it was torn down? Do you remember George Craft? Do you remember his scrapbook? You may comment privately here.
Photo source: Courtesy DC Public Library Special Collections, 15 January 1974. Geof. Gilbert, photographer.
"Blues Singer George Craft was legendary figure in D.C.," Baltimore Afro-American 25 July 1970.
Jet magazine 7 February 1974, p. 58.
Evening Star obituary announcements beginning in 1965.