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Buying Office Executive James Butterfield Dead at 79

He died at his home in Manhattan on May 8 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Services have been held for James Butterfield, founder of the James Butterfield & Associates buying office and a 40-year industry veteran.

Butterfield, 79, died at his home in Manhattan on May 8 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, according to his nephew Robert Aldrich.

Butterfield began his career in the fashion office at Lord & Taylor before launching his own company, where he represented men’s and women’s retailers including Wilkes Bashford, Butch Blum, Nan Duskin and Rubenstein Brothers, according to longtime friend Mary Jo Pane, owner and designer of Miracle Icons, a women’s fashion jewelry line.

“I made his acquaintance in 1989 when I worked with him as my buying office at Nan Duskin,” Payne said. “I always found him to be the most brutally honest and fair man; his reputation in the industry was impeccable. I must say as I came to know him as a friend, he was the most intellectually curious person I ever knew. Two years ago, faced with a terminal illness, he went over to Oxford University to work on his continuing studies in Middle Eastern history. A real renaissance man.”

In addition to Aldrich, Butterfield is survived by three sisters, several nieces and nephews. Donations can be made in his name to Doctors Without Borders or Masterpiece Trust, care of WGBH, One Guest Street, Boston, Mass., 02135. No public memorial is planned.