Sad news today from Kraig Butrum.
Beverly Butrum, a legendary Disneyland hostess for nearly four decades, has passed away peacefully with her family at her bedside, in Austin, Texas.
Beverly was born in California in 1924 and was a third generation Californian. Her parents were the 13th family to move to the Village of Lakewood, to be close to her father's role as Southern California manager for Golden State Dairies. After graduation, Beverly served as a USO hostess during World War II at Long Beach Community College's army canteen. It was there that she met her husband of 57 years, the late Clarence Arthur Butrum.
After raising three children, Beverly returned to work in 1967. Just weeks after the death of Walt Disney, Beverly was selected to serve as a hostess at the newly opened New Orleans Square in Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Considered “old” by Disney standards at the time, Beverly at 42 years old was cast as a matronly Southern Belle selling antiques in Disney's One-of-a-Kind Shop, located next to the new state-of-the-art attraction, the Pirates of the Caribbean. So new was this phenomenon of American women returning to the workforce in mid-life that Beverly was highlighted in the Orange County Register.
During her years at the One-of-a-Kind Shop and later at the Disneyland Art Gallery, Beverly became friends with the artists and “Imagineers” of Walt Disney Productions, including Walt Disney's brother, Roy. In fact, Roy Disney told Beverly in confidence, that they were secretly buying orange groves in Florida to build what would eventually become Walt Disney World.
Beverly became the expert in residence for all things Disneyana. Park visitors would grow up and bring their children to meet her and hear her stories about the history of Walt Disney's original park and its creative team. After 37 years with Disneyland, Beverly retired in 2003. Hundreds attended her retirement celebration at the Riverbelle Terrace and she was given a Main Street USA window in her honor.
Beverly always said that Disneyland and her children were her life. She always inspired not only her children but others that “their dreams really could come true.”
In 2004, Beverly moved with her daughter, Kimberly Butrum, son-in-law, the Reverend Dr. Terrence Sherry and grandson, Trevor to Austin.
In addition, she is survived by her son, Kraig Butrum and spouse David Stewart, daughter and son-in- law Michele and Gary Clausen, and grandchildren, Jason Hofman, Ryan Hofman and Jodi Hofman Levin.
A lifelong dog lover, memorial gifts may be made to local animal rescue societies. A private family service will be held at a later date.