Alfred Moore Butzbaugh, passed away January 11, 2020

Alfred Moore Butzbaugh, a widely respected attorney and judge died on January 11, 2020. He was with his family in Fitchburg, WI. He died of complications of a stroke. Services have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 269-556-9450.

Al was born in Benton Harbor, MI on July 25, 1940 and lived his entire life in Berrien County. He attended Sterne Brunson Elementary School, and Benton Harbor Junior High School. He then graduated from Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, MI, the University of Michigan, and Michigan Law School. Go Blue! He also earned an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Al is survived by his wife of 55 years Tiffany Loftus Butzbaugh, and daughters Currie, Alexa (Kurt Patrick) and Mia Butzbaugh, five grandchildren, brothers Elden W. Butzbaugh Jr. (Judy), and Benjamin F. Butzbaugh II (Betsy Herp). His father, Elden W. Butzbaugh Sr. married Lucy Currie Moore from Hattiesburg, MS. They met when Elden visited there for Thanksgiving weekend.

Al started practicing law at his father’s firm and continued for 37 years until he became a Berrien County Court Judge in 2003. He was instrumental in improving services in the courthouse. He created the Welcome Center and the Self Help Legal Services program. He retired in 2013.

He was elected President of the State Bar of Michigan (45,000 members) in 1999. In this role, he emphasized the need for justice for each person in Michigan. In 2001, he was awarded the Hudson Award, the highest award the State Bar of Michigan confers.

Al cared deeply about his hometown. He took every opportunity to improve the lives of children. He taught chess to 6th graders in a Benton Harbor elementary school. He organized and raised money for Rocket Football for middle school students in Benton Harbor. He was honored to be on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Benton Harbor.

Al liked to challenge himself. When he turned 50, he attempted to climb the Matterhorn. He trained many hours for a year, but he failed to reach the summit. He returned home and immediately started training for his second attempt in 1991, when he was successful.

Al was deeply loved and will be greatly missed by his family and community. A memorial service will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, please make a charitable contribution to one of the following organizations. Boys and Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor, 600 Nate Wells Sr. Drive, Benton Harbor, MI 49022, or State Bar of Michigan’s Access to Justice Campaign, 306 Townsend St., Lansing, MI 48933-2012. 

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