John and Nancy Buthenuth


After 63 years of marriage and many adventures, John and Nancy Buthenuth both passed away in April 2019, 16 days apart.

Nancy Buthenuth (née Campbell) passed away in San Francisco on April 2, 2019 after a brief illness. She was born on November 10, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois to Coler and Helen (Penrose) Campbell. After her father passed away, she moved to Portland, Oregon with her mother where she went to boarding school and spent the summers with her sister on a local dairy farm. She attended Oregon State University and was actively involved with Alpha Phi Sorority.

Nancy worked as a bookkeeper for 20 years, after getting her accounting certificate in the 1970s, and was very involved in her community. She was the scorekeeper for her children’s little league teams and was active in All Saints Episcopal Church and Corralitos Women’s Club. She looked forward to swim class with her friends at the YMCA, playing bridge and was also involved in several book clubs. She enjoyed socializing and spending time with her many friends, as well as her family.

John Buthenuth passed away in Watsonville on April 18, 2019 after losing the battle to several illnesses. He was born on February 6, 1928 in Santa Cruz, California to Clarence and Janet (Dwyer) Buthenuth. He grew up in Watsonville and Santa Cruz where he had fond memories of body surfing in the ocean.

John joined the Navy in 1945 and served in the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged in 1946. He then attended San Jose State where he studied civil engineering and played football for 3 years before being drafted in to the Army in 1950. He served in Germany until 1952. He worked for Caltrans as a civil engineer, completing his degree from San Jose State in 1978. He was also on the planning commission in Cupertino and served on the Grand Jury in Santa Cruz. John loved the outdoors. He was an Indian Guide father, walked many a mile backpacking in the Sierras with friends and family, was an avid gardener and enjoyed downhill and water skiing, spending some time as a ski patrol at Sugar Bowl. In his later years, he could be found at the YMCA on the stationary bike and socializing with friends, completing the daily crossword puzzle and just spending time with his beloved Nancy and his family.

John and Nancy met in San Francisco where Nancy worked for the phone company after college and John was working for Caltrans. They lived across the street from each other and had very fond memories of this time in their lives and the friendships they formed. They were united in marriage on May 29, 1955. Together they were a team that raised 3 children with love, strong values and unconditional support. They first lived in Santa Clara and then Cupertino. They moved to Corralitos in 1980, where they designed and built their dream home amongst an apple orchard. They made their final move to Watsonville in 2006.

John and Nancy loved to travel. Their adventures took them to Egypt, South America, Europe, Canada, Australia, China, Spain, New Zealand and all over the United States.

Besides their parents, they were preceded in death by Nancy’s sister Gina Pearce, John’s brother Gene Buthenuth, brother-in-law Frank Pearce and sister-in-law Marion Buthenuth.

They will be greatly missed by their son Alec (Kary Wilson) Buthenuth, daughters Wendy Buthenuth and Gail (Tony) Castro, grandchildren Kyle Buthenuth, Samantha Castro and Ethan Castro, step-grandchildren Jackie Roberts and Gavin Wilson, step-great grandchild DJ, canine companion Duffy, several nieces and nephews, and lots of friends, many who have been a part of their lives for over 65 years.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the doctors, nurses and staff at Dominican Hospital, UCSF, Valley Rehab and Convalescence and Hospice of Santa Cruz County for their care and compassion.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in their names to All Saints Episcopal Church in Watsonville, Corralitos Women’s Club or YMCA of Watsonville.

Per their wishes, cremation has taken place, and their ashes will be scattered together in Monterey Bay at a later date.

Please join the Buthenuth family in celebrating both John and Nancy’s lives at All Saints Episcopal Church, located at 437 Rogers Avenue in Watsonville, on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 10:30am with a reception to follow in the adjacent parish hall.

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