H-E-B Heir Howard Butt, Jr. Passes Away at 89
Howard Edward Butt, Jr., eldest son of the founder of the H-E-B grocery chain and Vice-Chair of its Board of Directors, has died at the age of 89. He had been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease according to The Chronicle.
I first heard the name Howard Butt, Jr. not in conjunction with the supermarket chain which his father, Howard E. Butt, Sr. founded. (It's my favorite grocery store, btw. Nobody does it better than H-E-B, and no one paid me to say that!) I heard it in relation to God's Word on my own medium of radio.
What many don't know is that the eldest son and namesake of the supermarket chain's founder walked away from the grocery business to spread the Gospel. Starting in 1961, Howard Jr. was the driving force behind his father's property Laity Lodge, a 1900-acre ranch which was converted into a nonsectarian Christian retreat center. It is operated by the elder Butt's H.E. Butt Family Foundation which the younger Howard was tasked with running.
Many also first heard the name and voice of Howard Butt, Jr. on the radio. After Laity Lodge became a destination for retreats and contemplative prayer, Howard Jr. founded his ministry, the High Calling, focused the Protestant Work Ethic and "how your faith relates to your work and the culture you live in." Howard engaged said culture by hosting 60-second radio vignettes with an inspirational, often thought-provoking message.
For more from H-E-B on Howard Butt Jr.'s life and legacy, click here.
Here's an old and somewhat faded film featuring Howard Butt, Jr. and British commentator Malcolm Muggeridge.