Frederick Norman Oates, lovingly known as “Butch,” passed peacefully on to heaven on March 10, 2020, after a brief battle with cancer. He was 72 years old. The oldest son of the late Frederick and Lucille Oates, Butch grew up in the south end of Stratford, graduating from Stratford High School in 1965. He went on to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in business at Sacred Heart University and received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Bridgeport. Butch, a lifelong bachelor, poured his life into his family. He was a major influence and integral part in the lives of his nieces and nephews. “Uncle Butch” was “cool” and was a constant source of laughter, generosity and support. Full of wisdom and wit, he loved to tease -- and dare we say instigate -- mercilessly. Butch was a voracious reader with a deep intellect and was always found with a book in one hand and a Mountain Dew in the other. An avid, die-hard New York sports fan, he lamented that the Mets did not win a World Series since 1986; however, he found tremendous joy in continually reminding the Boston fans of the family that “his” Giants defeated the Patriots in the Super Bowl TWICE! Butch loved to cook and grill and was excellent at it. At family gatherings, everyone expected him to bring his ever popular “perfectly salted” potato salad. He was the proud owner of the concessions grill at Nutmeg Bowl in Fairfield for many years and gained quite a reputation for making the best egg sandwich in town. (As a side note, he made French fries that could melt in your mouth and a killer grilled cheese sandwich). Butch was a true patriot who loved his country earnestly; a Christian who served his God faithfully; and a dynamic presence who loved his family deeply. He was loved and admired by so many and his absence will be keenly felt by those who had the privilege to share life with him. Butch leaves his beloved sister, Eleanor, and his brother-in-law, Harry Griffin, with whom he resided; his brother, Kenneth, and dear sister-in-law, Katie Oates; his brother-in-law and friend, Ray Willis; five nephews; two nieces; and many great-nieces and great-nephews. Butch died with this one regret -- that he would not be able to cast a vote for Donald Trump this November. A memorial service to celebrate Butch’s life, will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 18th at Grace Baptist Church, 400 Burnt Plains Road in Milford. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly wishes that donations be made to the Epilepsy Foundation to honor Butch’s lifelong battle with epilepsy. Donations can be made online at Donate.epilepsy.com
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