Penelope "Penny" Butler

Obituary of Penelope "Penny" Butler

Penelope “Penny” Shipman Butler, age 72, of Cocoa Beach, FL, passed away on March 6, 2024, at Cape Canaveral Hospital after a brief illness. She was born January 23, 1952, in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of the late Col. James and Sara (McHugh) Warndorf.  

As the daughter of a military family frequently restationed, Penny attended four different high schools. She ultimately graduated from St. Bernadine’s in San Bernardino, CA. She was promised at her graduation that she could attend college anywhere she wanted after having experienced such a busy high school career. Penny chose to attend Chaminade University in Honolulu, HI. It was there that she fell in love with all things connected to the beach. She ultimately landed in Cocoa Beach, FL where she lived for 38 years.  

During her initial years in Cocoa Beach, Penny worked as a  a Premier Cruise Lines reservation agent. While she was at PCL, she created lifelong friendships with her co-workers and developed a love of travel. She and her “Premier” girls have continued to gather for lunches over the past 30 years. Penny then joined her dear friends in working for Agape Travel, where she loved to assist in planning her friends and family’s dream vacations.  

Penny met and married the love of her life, John P. Butler, on July 12, 1991. In their 32 years together, John and Penny focused on making memories with their blended family and took pure delight in visiting their grandchildren. Their marriage was built on faith, friendships, and family. Penny would often tell anyone who would listen that her “grandbabies are perfect!” In addition to visiting family, Penny loved to plan amazing “trips of a lifetime” all over the world where she and John were able to create many forever memories.  

Another important aspect of Penny’s life was her overwhelming passion for volunteering. She spent many years volunteering for Our Saviour’s Catholic Church & School where all six children attended. One of her favorite projects was running the beer booth at the annual OSS Fair where she was proudly dubbed “The Beer Booth Lady”. Finally, when Penny landed herself in retirement, she found a new passion. She joined the Cape Canaveral Hospital Auxiliary as a volunteer. At CCH she also developed lifelong friendships while brightening patients' days with her cheerfulness and her beloved therapy dog, Pinot. She ultimately held the role as President of the Auxiliary and dedicated more than 11,000 hours to this organization.  

Penny is survived by her loving husband of 32 years, John; her children, James Shipman III and his wife, Christiane, of Austin, TX; Sara Kendrick and her husband, Brian, and Kathryn Shipman, all from Charlotte, NC; John Butler, III, and his wife, Sharon of Park City, UT; Michael Butler and his wife, Becki of Cocoa Beach; and Keli Wildermuth and her husband, Jack from Chicago. In addition, she was loved by her twelve “perfect” grandbabies. She leaves behind her brother, Tom Warndorf, and his wife, Katy, of Winter Haven; and her sister, Sara “Lynn” Klockars and her husband, Karl, of Chicago.  Penny will also be greatly missed by their latest addition, their rescue Shiba Inu, Buta.  

A celebration of life will be held on May 4th at 1:00 p.m. at Our Saviors Catholic Church at 5301 N. Atlantic Blvd. in Cocoa Beach. Her celebration will continue at Cocoa Beach Country Club from 2:30-5:30. Please come by to share a story or two with her family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Penny’s honor to the Shiba Inu Rescue of Florida (SIRF) organization. 

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