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home : obituaries : obituaries May 26, 2016

1/20/2014 6:00:00 AM
Obituary: N. Sharon Rawls Butler
N. Sharon Rawls Butler
N. Sharon Rawls Butler

Sharon was born Nov. 29, 1945 in Kerrville, Texas, as Nelda Sharon Rawls. She passed away at home with her family by her side on Jan. 17, 2014. Sharon was born to Raymond Haines Rawls and Lucille Candace Freeman Rawls.

Sharon was raised in Kerrville, and attended Tivy High School and graduated from American High School in Chicago.

In 1965, Sharon met the love of her life, a Navy sailor, Larry James Butler. They were married Feb. 27, 1965, in Kerrville. After Larry was discharged from the Navy, they moved to Denver, where Larry worked for Stanley Aviation. Their two oldest children, Candice and Raymond were born. In 1970, Larry transferred to Hurricane, Utah, where their third child, Barbara was born.

In 1974, they packed up their three kids and two dogs and moved to Kingman, where they have lived ever since. Larry went to work at the Kingman Police Department, where he eventually became chief of police. Sharon worked at the sheriff's office as a dispatcher, Mohave County Probation Department, and the motor vehicle department.

In 1980, Sharon went to work as a highway patrol officer, the job she loved. This was a time in history when there was a lot of doubt about a female working the Arizona highways. It didn't take Sharon long to prove that she was born to be a highway patrol officer. Her arrests and activity were always in the upper half of the district.

In 1995, she was shot and beaten during an arrest of two illegal alien drug smugglers outside of Kingman on I-40. She survived and continued to work for two more years after the shooting.

Her career highlights include being awarded the Purple Heart, selected for Women Making History, Citizen of the Year by the Elks, Officer of the Year for the Drug Interdiction Team, being awarded the Ace Award for the number of stolen cars captured, being part of the Pope's security detail when he visited Phoenix, and being selected for the National Police Hall of Fame.

Her greatest accomplishment was being a K-9 officer with her canine partner, Tessa. They were responsible for finding thousands of pounds of drugs and recovering thousands of dollars in drug moneys. Sharon worked with the MAGNET Drug Task Force for several years, a team that went after the drug dealers. Her partner, Tessa, died in 1995 from cancer.

After Sharon retired in 1997, she and Larry enjoyed traveling, doing a lot of cruises. They even lost track of how many but believe it was 20 cruises.

Sharon was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2006. She battled it for seven years, going to Mayo Hospital and Clinic in Phoenix on a weekly basis. Realizing recently, the battle was being lost, she returned to Kingman, being welcomed in the Kingman Regional Medical Center Hospice Program, one of the greatest organizations our family has been part of.

Sharon was preceded in death by her father, Raymond Rawls; mother, Lucille Rawls; brother, Royce Rawls; sister, Ramona Rawls; and niece, Celia Parry. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Larry Butler; daughters, Candice Huerta (David), Barbara Corlis (Christopher); son, Raymond (Donnell); nieces, Robin Handley, Elaine Schwabb and Sherylene Parry Day; and numerous cousins, but closest with Linda Cross and Irene Housen. She has 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

She was very proud of the career law enforcement officers in her family. Her husband Larry, police chief; her son Ray, DPS captain; son-in-law David, DPS officer and JP; grandson Ryan, police officer; and Jason, just hired to be police officer. She was equally proud of her daughters Candice, a registered nurse, and Barbara, a small business owner. Sharon had many friends in Kingman, in Arizona and throughout the U.S. There are too many to try to name, but she loved them all.

Sharon was told she was clear of cancer several times but it always managed to return. During the last days, the cancer paralyzed her but she never became depressed about it. She said, "you don't have to have legs to walk among friends." While being confined to bed, she continued to make new friends with Praise Chapel and Hospice. She is loved by many and missed by all. She is in a place where she will see old friends and make new ones. Sharon was a legend.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Praise Chapel, 419 Harrison St. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the 100 Club of Arizona, 5033 N. 19th Avenue, Ste. 123, Phoenix, AZ 85015, or call 602-485-0100. This organization assists families of fallen officers and firefighters. You may also donate to KRMC Hospice Care.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014
Article comment by: Dan Mattos

I just learned of Sharon's passing and offer my sincere condolences. Sharon was a fine person-- outspoken, solid in her beliefs, and a credit to the law enforcement profession. Larry you were a mentor of mine and have influenced my life in many ways. Please know that I feel for for loss and wish you well in the future.



Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2014
Article comment by: Larry Mandrell

Sharon was what the old timers use to refer to
as someone worthy to ride the range with!

I always thought She just might be an Angel,
now She is!

Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014
Article comment by: John Tibbetts II

Sharon will be missed, what a great highway patrolman!, and a great person. My families prayers to the family.

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014
Article comment by: Courtney Corlis

Grandma, you were so strong. You never lost your faith and I deeply admire that. You became my best friend throughout my 18 years. You were so patriotic and I will never forget that. I miss you so much. "Not a day passes that you're not in my life, but not a day passes that you're not in my heart". You were very well respected throughout the county. You touched many lives. I hope to do the same. Thank you for being my rock, my best friend, my HERO, and most of all, my grandma. Thank you for giving me a great childhood. I mis you so much. I love you <3.

Posted: Monday, January 27, 2014
Article comment by: Jan Blaser-Upchurch

Sharon was a good person and officer. She worked with my late husband, Sgt John Blaser and I remember her dedication to her job as well as her positive attitude. She will be missed and but always remembered with kindness.

Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Article comment by: Elaine Lamb

i have known Sharon and the whole family my whole like being the daughter of a retired police officer my self. she will always be in our hearts and prayers. her legacy will live on forever

Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Burlew

My sincere condolences to the family. Sharon was one of a kind. You always knew what Sharon was thinking, good, bad or indifferent. Loved that, loved her. Rest in peace Sharon, you earned it.

Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Article comment by: Michelle Dyer

The Honorable way Sharon worked in patrol at DPS helps to show the public and women can and do make excellent police officers who honorably serve the public with bravery and distinction. My sincere condolences to her husband and family and the LE who worked with her.
Sincerely, Michelle Knight Dyer (retired Phoenix Police Detective, also former Payson officer, and Northern Gila County Deputy Constable & Prosecutors Investigator 1976-2010)

Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Article comment by: Kathy Nelson

I never met Sharon but always respected her as a tough lady and an excellent police officer. Sharon was out there on the beat when women were breaking in to law enforcement. She made us all proud! My father Jack Nelson, (deceased), and sister Chris knew her and spoke highly of her. To her family I extend my sincere sympathy from my family to yours. Kathy Nelson, (Retired Police Officer 35 years)

Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Article comment by: Danny Thomas

My prayers go out to Sharon,Larry and rest of family. As a liquor control agent assigned to Kingman area I received nothing but the best assistance from them. I am so sorry for the family loss.You will be missed.

Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Article comment by: Pamela Wagoner

I met Sharon in 1990 working at Firestone , thru the years I saw her and we would talk , I wanted to be a DPS officer,because of her I did put in an app but because of some health issues I was unable to fulfill that dream, Thanks Sharon for giving me hope . you are loved by all who you touched and missed so much.

Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Article comment by: Jean Bishop

A super role model, pilar of the community, comedian and life long friend now patrols the streets of heaven. God bless her many close friends and family as we cherish her memory and legacy!

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014
Article comment by: Roger Vanderpool

I had the honor to know and work with Sharon. She was one of a kind, she was a dedicated and talented law enforcement officer, responsible for helping to make Arizona a safer place to live. Her humor would liven up any gathering. Each of us that had the pleasure of knowing Sharon are better off for her being in our lives. Sharon, till we meet again thank you for making a difference.

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014
Article comment by: Mary Stewart

One of the nicest lady I met when I first moved here. She had such a big caring heart. You will be very well missed Sharon I am glad to have known you and your family. God bless the Butler Family.

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014
Article comment by: Sheila Moore

My thoughts and Prayers are with you! I'm so honored I got the chance to know Sharon and become best friends with Barbie! God Bless the family!

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014
Article comment by: Dora Manley

Very beautiful story. I loved her and will miss her greatly. Many times she shared advice and opinions that I will remember always. Love to her family.

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014
Article comment by: Theresa Jones

You lived life passionately. You inspired me and gave me a real-life hero to look up too. I love you and will miss you greatly.

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