MSP Trooper Paul Butterfield
MANISTEE, Mich. (WZZM) - Funeral and visitation plans have been announced for Michigan State Trooper Paul Butterfield.
The funeral will take place this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Manistee High School. Visitation will also be at the high school, starting at 10 a.m.
WZZM 13 will carry the funeral live on 13.2 on air, Comcast channel 298, and Charter channel 247. We will also stream it live on wzzm13.com.
The funeral is Saturday and is expected to be huge. The only place that may be fit everyone is the gymnasium inside Manistee High School, which sits up to 2,600 people.
Michigan State Police tried to iron out funeral arrangements Wednesday afternoon as they combed the grounds of Manistee High School, preparing to honor trooper Paul Butterfield.
"An extensive amount of works goes into this," said MSP Lt. Kip Belcher.
Lt. Belcher says 20 troopers were at the school and dozens more were planning behind the scenes to accommodate what he expects may be a few thousand people. Butterfield has friends and family in Bridgeport Township, his fellow servicemen from the Michigan Army National Guard, college friends, and everyone who knows him in and around Manistee.
"He was just a spectacular human being, he loved his fiancé, loved his animals, he was just a good, good man," said Karen Brewer.
Brewer is one of Butterfield's fiance's best friends. Jennifer used to work at Brewer's boutique in Manistee.
"They love the country, they just got a house together," she said.
While many know Brewer outside of his MSP uniform, Clinton Franklin knows him very well in it. He had a little run in with the law.
"He was fair...In a time of need, I was in a bad spot, he went out of his way to help me," said Franklin.
The majority of those in the crowd Saturday will likely be in uniform. The Michigan Troopers Association expects more than 1,000 uniformed troopers, with up to 150 out of state expected from Louisiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Maine. That number could rise.
Inside the gymnasium, the school has already raised a huge American flag in preparation.
Manistee Public Schools Superintendent John Chandler says, "We're going to have students involved in setting up hundreds and hundreds of chairs, so it's a pretty big undertaking but it's an honor for us to do this for this officer."
State police are working on setting up live wireless feeds in separate rooms, just in case.
You may leave a message of condolence for the family of Trooper. Butterfield at this link: http://on.wzzm.com/1fV8xcJ