Howard E. Butt Jr., H-E-B family’s eldest son, dies at 89

Howard E. Butt Jr., the eldest son of H-E-B founder Howard E. Butt Sr., died Sunday at his home in Kerrville due to complications related to Parkinson’s disease. The former president of The H. E. Butt Foundation and H-E-B board vice chair was 89.

Photo courtesy of H-E-B.
Photo courtesy of H-E-B.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of my brother, Howard,” H-E-B CEO Charles Butt said in a news release. “His decades of inspired leadership, philanthropy and humanitarian efforts will forever be missed by our family and those he impacted across the U.S.”

Related: H-E-B’s Charles Butt family ties with Rockefellers on Forbes’ wealthiest in the U.S.

Butt was born in Kerrville on Sept. 8, 1927, making him the oldest of five Butt children who own the H-E-B grocery chain, which is the largest family-owned company in Texas. The Baylor University alumnus grew up in the food business founded by his grandmother, Florence, in 1905. He married his wife, Barbara Dan Gerber, soon after graduating with a business degree in 1947.

Butt was known for his spiritual endeavors and philanthropy work. He created the Layman’s Leadership Institute with evangelist Billy Graham, which hosted national faith-based programs for business professionals. President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the first Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity for his efforts on behalf of workers. Butt took presidency of the H.E. Butt Foundation in 1982, heading one of the earliest private and philanthropic foundations in Texas.

Read: H-E-B’s Charles C. Butt ranks on list of America’s 50 most beloved CEOs

Aside from his brother Charles, Butt Jr. is survived by his sister Eleanor Butt Crook; his wife Barbara Dan Gerber; his daughter Deborah Dan Rogers; his two sons Howard Butt III and Stephen Butt; and his eight grandchildren.

You can read his obituary at the San Antonio Express-News.

H-E-B names three Austin brands the best in Texas

Three of the best Texas brands in your local grocery store just so happen to be from Austin — at least, that’s what H-E-B says.

13 APRIL 2010- AMERICAN-STATESMAN/Rodolfo Gonzalez: Customers, Candace Rodriguez and Laura Holt of Houston, sit down for a lunch at the Texas Pie Company in Kyle, Texas on Tuesday, April 13, 2010. Rodriguez, owner of a relocation company in Houston was scouting new development properties in Kyle. Growth in Hays county has grown 64 percent since 2000. For TIA10 and TIA Centex.
AMERICAN-STATESMAN/Rodolfo Gonzalez: Customers, Candace Rodriguez and Laura Holt of Houston, sit down for a lunch at the Texas Pie Company in Kyle, Texas on Tuesday, April 13, 2010.

According to Culture Map Austin, H-E-B’s third annual Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best contest named three Austin-area groups — out of 500 entries — as its collective winners this week. The contest not only awards a cash prize to winners but also a prime spot in grocery store shelves across the state.

Read: Two Austin food makers win big in H-E-B’s Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best competition

The grand-prize winner, which is $25,000, was Texas Pie Company with its Pie Dough Puck. Last year’s winner was Austin’s TEO Gelato.

In a tie for first place, Austin’s Kitchun won $20,000 for its allergy-conscious products. Last on the list of Austin brands we can be proud of is Culinary Cowgirls, which earned second place and $15,000 for Lone Star Queso.

And heads up Austin, the contest will take place in the city next year.

#GrowingUpInTexas describes being raised in the Lone Star state

Decker, a Shih Tzu is dressed like Willie Nelson at the 2016 Mighty Texas Dog Walk held at The Austin American-Statesman, in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, March 5, 2016. The Mighty Texas Dog Walk benefits Service Dogs, Inc., which trains dogs that assist individuals with hearing and physical challenges all over Texas. Erika Rich for American-Statesman,
Decker, a Shih Tzu is dressed like Willie Nelson at the 2016 Mighty Texas Dog Walk held at The Austin. (Erika Rich for American-Statesman)

Ah, Texas — where the stars at night are big and bright and there’s no end to the reasons we love living here. Whether you’ve been here your whole life or you transferred in, this state is a lifestyle.

But for those of us who’ve been here since our beginning, there are some things we all know all too well. Within the past two days, the hashtag #GrowingUpInTexas started trending on Twitter and users are using the hashtag to share stories of what it was like growing up in the Lone Star state. Here are just a few of the best we’ve seen so far:

https://twitter.com/austin124450/status/749613566315995140

https://twitter.com/Brunette_Boss_/status/749593378971459584

https://twitter.com/brendansandberg/status/749669613034614784

https://twitter.com/_blackanubis/status/749488674010640384

https://twitter.com/ElanRene/status/749658802903846913

H-E-B’s Charles Butt family ties with Rockefellers on Forbes’ wealthiest in the U.S.

Charles Butt, CEO for H-E-B smiles as he get a standing ovation as he is called to the stage to help hand out awards during the State H-E-B annual Excellence in Education awards on Sunday, May 3, 2015. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Charles Butt, CEO for H-E-B smiles as he get a standing ovation as he is called to the stage to help hand out awards during the State H-E-B annual Excellence in Education awards on Sunday, May 3, 2015. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

H-E-B’s Charles Butt family was named the 23rd wealthiest in the U.S. by Forbes magazine, tying with oil-moguls the Rockefellers.

The magazine, which published the list on Wednesday, estimates the Butt fortune to be $11 billion. No. 1 on the list was the Walton family who own the national chain Wal-Mart and are estimated to have a fortune of $130 billion.

The first H-E-B grocery store was opened in 1905 by Florence Butt after her husband was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Charles Butt took over the company in 1971 and is the majority shareholder though he and four other family members hold the fortune. He shares it with his sister Eleanor Butt Crook, his brother Howard Butt Jr. and his two nephews Howard Butt III and Stephen Butt.

Earlier in June, Charles Butt was ranked at No. 19 on Glassdoor’s list of top-rated CEOs of a large company in the U.S.

25 reasons why Texans love H-E-B

HEB Buddy the mascot high-fives the Cleveland Triplets as they enjoy their Thanksgiving meal at the 26th annual HEB Feast of Sharing was held at the Palmer Events Center Tuesday evening November 24, 2015. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN
HEB Buddy the mascot high-fives the Cleveland Triplets as they enjoy their Thanksgiving meal at the 26th annual HEB Feast of Sharing was held at the Palmer Events Center Tuesday evening November 24, 2015.
RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

“No store does more” than many Texans’ favorite grocery store: H-E-B. There might even be stats to prove it.

In February, the American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked H-E-B third among grocery chains, nationally. And when the store set its sights on prime property in South Austin, we thought it was time to scour social media for some reasons why Texans might love the store so dang much.

1. For starters, H-E-B is a Texas original. State pride goes a long way.

2. H-E-B’s “generic” brand items are fan favorites.

3. Not to mention, there are all those Texas-shaped items.

4. Creamy Creations. For some, the hometown treat is #dessertgoals.

https://twitter.com/IucieIle/status/729530691667382272

5. Giant. Vats. Of hummus.

https://twitter.com/McKillinIt_/status/733447627262599169

6. Because sometimes a bird gets into the store and everyone loses it.

7. The San Antonio Spurs love it too.

8. Speaking of, Taste of San Antonio coffee.

9. H-E-Buddy. For the kids, ya know?

10. You can always find your favorite Mexican candies.

11. Sometimes you just need the right cut of meat.

12. The shelves upon shelves of pan dulce.

13. While you’re grabbing a concha …

14. … don’t forget to compliment the bakery workers on their mean sheet cakes.

15. For at least one guy, that fresh tortilla stand is a shining beacon in this sometimes dark world.

16. So much beer, you have to say something about it.

17. Cheap entertainment.

18. H-E-B stocks team gear for your local high schools or universities. Hook ‘Em! 

https://twitter.com/hannah__diane/status/682396587415498753

19. Coupons make the wallet happy.

https://twitter.com/cherrycutie/status/732022428155535361

20. Those deals even have a name: Combo Loco.

https://twitter.com/ImTheQ/status/735958207365976064

21. Know what else Texans like? Whataburger fries, spicy ketchup and mustard.

22. Because sushi is casually available mid-shop.

23. The H-E-B Organics line … people are passionate, let’s say.

24. Play your cards right and hit all the food and wine samples for free lunch.

25. And just like Texas, here everything’s just bigger.

https://twitter.com/thealyssam8/status/735278362147454977

These people love the Lone Star State’s go-to grocer. But are they willing to honor their beloved with a tattoo?

View this post on Instagram

Because I ❤ HEB. #tattoo #atx #heb #lol

A post shared by Dana Gruber (@dana_brie) on