Kenneth C. Butterfield, a former Huntington supervisor who helped shape the current landscape of the town, has died.
Butterfield of Northport, who served as town supervisor for eight years, died on Nov. 14. He was 87. No cause of death was announced.
Butterfield, a Democrat, was appointed supervisor in 1975 by the town board to fill a vacancy. He was elected in 1977 and reelected in 1979 and 1981, according to Newsday articles and an online obituary on the website of the Nolan Funeral Home in Northport. That was when the supervisor’s term of office was two years (it is now four).
At the time of his appointment to supervisor, Butterfield had served as Huntington's first full-time town attorney for two years.
"The Town mourns the loss of former Supervisor Kenneth Butterfield, who invested in notable infrastructure projects, such as the HART Bus system and the Huntington Station commuter parking facility, while advocating for our environment and expanding senior services," Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said in an email.
HART, Huntington Area Rapid Transit, is the only town-operated bus system on Long Island.
In spring 1983, Butterfield announced he would not seek reelection following a narrow victory in his previous election. He also cited "taking a bath" financially on the supervisor’s salary at the time, $42,000.
In a Newsday article from Dec. 26, 1983, Butterfield cited as his accomplishments, in addition to investing in HART, new housing for the elderly, a commuter parking garage, moving into a new town hall, expansion of the park system and lighting improvements.
State Sen. Jim Gaughran (D-Northport), who served as an aide to Butterfield, said his former boss's strength was in the way that he managed and that he left a lasting legacy.
"A lot of what we have in Huntington today was based on innovations he brought to the town when he was supervisor," said Gaughran. "Part of our quality of life in Huntington that we take for granted today was actually his vision years ago."
Butterfield was born in Flushing on Oct 20, 1934, and raised in Oyster Bay. He studied at the U.S. Military Academy, where he played the trumpet with the West Point Band, Hofstra University and New York Law School. After serving as supervisor, he returned to private practice and continued to be a lifelong avid trumpet player.
Toward the end of his career, he served on the Northport Village Zoning Board of Appeals, his online obituary stated.
He is survived by his wife, Deirdre M. Butterfield; children Caroline Butterfield Colgan, Thomas Butterfield, Li Ann Butterfield Watson; and a grandson, according to his online obituary.
He was interred at Calverton National Cemetery.