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Obituary: Laura Menken Butler '72

Laura Menken Butler passed away in her sleep on November 23, 2011, at 62 years old. Devoted wife of James G. Butler for 29 years and loving mother of Alexandra Erin Butler for 27 years. Laura was born Laura Von Briesen Menken in New York City on March 22, 1949 to Arthur Menken and Carol Litting Menken; her brother was Eric Menken who passed away in 1982. She was a descendant of the Menkens of New York who made the gift of Von Briesen Park to New York City. Laura grew up in Rome and Florence, and attended Swiss girls' schools. Her family moved to Montecito, CA when she was 14. She attended Antioch College in Ohio for two years before she joined the counter culture with her brother Eric. She returned to Europe until the 1970s when she moved to Berkeley. She worked as a courier and chef until she met her husband. In 1984, Laura gave birth to her daughter; since that time she devoted her life and her time to her family and friends. Laura loved art, music (from opera to Jimi Hendrix and Tina Turner), literature, architecture, food and conversation. Her soul was generous and kind, her countenance warm and sparkling. She was greatly loved by her family and friends and will be deeply missed. A memorial service will be held in her honor on Saturday, December 10th, 2011 at 2pm at St. Clements' Episcopal Church, located at 2837 Claremont Boulevard in Berkeley, CA.