Reflections of the Life of
Benoyd “Butch” Myers Ellison
“Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself”
Butch was born at home on April 20, 1939 in Kansas City, Kansas to Benoyd and Margaret (Soto) Myers. They also had another son, Nolen. Later, Margaret married Tavern Ellison who adopted both boys giving them the Ellison name.
Growing up in Kansas City, Kansas, Butch and Nolen explored their neighborhood and Kansas City, Missouri by bicycle, on foot, and by city bus. Playing basketball and baseball was a favorite pastime. Butch continued to play basketball at Northeast Junior High School, Sumner High School, Kansas City Kansas Junior College, and the University of Kansas. In 1958, he was selected as a Junior College All-American basketball player. The jump shot was his specialty.
On July 9, 1960, Butch and Lee Ann Parks were married. They were blessed with two children, Guy Anthony and Stephanie Elise Ellison.
At the University of Kansas, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1962 and a Master of Science in Education in1970. In 1962 he began his teaching career in USD 500 at Dunbar Elementary School. He also taught at Northeast Junior High School before working in public service in various positions for the city of Kansas City, Kansas. From 1968 to 1971 he served as Director of the Fairfax Job Opportunities Program and then Director of Model Cities Program. Butch returned to teaching in 1972 at Washington High School where he transitioned to Administration as a Vice-Principal – serving 13 years at Washington and 2 years at Sumner Academy. He retired from USD 500 in 1999 and in 2001 was recruited to enter local politics. Butch was elected to, and served 12 years on, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County & Kansas City, Kansas Board of Commissioners for District 8. He was dedicated to the betterment of Wyandotte County.
He loved his family and friends, following them wherever their activities took them – in, or out, of town. Trips to the Ozarks were often spur of the moment, great fun, and relaxing. His homemade BBQ sauce and ribs and “Butch’s Beans” were the anchor foods of many gatherings. He readily helped those who needed a helping a hand with hammer and saw. If it was broken, he would go out of his way to help you repair it. He loved to sing Bill Withers’ “Lean on me when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on….”
Butch was a member of St. Paul A.M.E. Church, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Neighborhood & Community Development Standing committee, Administration & Human Services Standing committee, and Past member - National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Butch, 79, passed away Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at his home. He was preceded in death by his parents, Tavern and Margaret Ellison and Benoyd Myers, half-brothers Wilbur Ridgnal and Richard Lawson, and brother-in-law, Frank Maurice Parks.
Butch is survived by his wife of 59 years Lee Ann Parks Ellison; son, Guy Ellison (Debbie), KC, KS; daughter, Stephanie Woods (Reginald), Pearland, TX; brother and sister-in-law, Nolen and Carole Ellison, Roseville, CA; 6 grandchildren – Reginald (LaQuisha), Christian, Erin, Ryan, Madison McKenzie, and Alexis; 3 great-grandchildren – Juelz, Madison Elle, and Summer; nieces Rhea Scott (Steve), KC, KS, Mauriann Bailey (Matthew), Girdwood, Alaska, nephews, Marc Ellison (Ann), Roseville, CA, Steven Ellison (Dianne), Novi, MI, Ryan Lawson (Gail), KCKS, and Rhand Lawson, Nashville, TN; and a host of extended family and friends.