According to U.S. Census records, John J. Butler was born in Ireland. In 1880, He was residing in Sandusky, Ohio with his wife Lizzie, and four young children. In the 1904 Sandusky City Directory, John J. Butler's occupation was the assistant clerk of the Sandusky Water Works. On Sunday, December 16, 1906, John J. Butler went with several other members of the Knights of Columbus to a service at the St. Mary's Church at Clyde, Ohio. Mr. Butler fell to the floor suddenly. A physician was called, but it was too late to save Mr. Butler. He had died of apoplexy. His remains were returned to Sandusky, where he was buried at the St. Joseph Cemetery. John J. Butler had been a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.
He was survived by three sons and five daughters. An obituary for John J. Butler appeared in the December 17, 1906 issue of the Sandusky Register.
An inscription at the bottom of the tombstone honoring the memory of John J. Butler reads:
May he rest in peace
A cross adorns the top of his tombstone.