LIFESTYLE

Artist who created Precious Moments figurines depicting teardrop-eyed children dies at the age of 85

May 23, 2024, 9:29 AM | Updated: 9:54 am

CARTHAGE, Mo. (AP) — Sam Butcher, the artist who created the Precious Moments figurines depicting angelic teardrop-eyed children, has died. He was 85.

The company said in a Facebook post that he died early Monday surrounded by family. It said his life’s mission was “to share God’s gift of love with the world.” No details about his cause of death were provided.

Some of the Christian-themed figurines feature Bible verses or children praying. Fans have collections numbering in the hundreds, while critics deride them as kitsch.

Butcher’s childhood love of illustrating got a wider audience when he began telling Bible stories on a children’s ministry television show while he drew. That experience led to him cofounding a business in 1974 named Jonathan & David after the biblical figures, according to his online obituary.

Early offerings included greeting cards. And within a few years, those drawings were transformed into porcelain figurines.

Thousands of designs have been produced over the decades, and fans of his work flock each year to the Precious Moments Inspiration Park and Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri.

The cornerstone of the pastel-painted, non-denominational oasis is the chapel, which Butcher was inspired to build by a 1983 trip to the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It includes 84 Biblical murals that cover more than 5,000 square feet.

Lifestyle

Associated Press

US Olympic and other teams will bring their own AC units to Paris, undercutting environmental plan

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Olympic team is one of a handful that will supply air conditioners for their athletes at the Paris Games in a move that undercuts organizers’ plans to cut carbon emissions. U.S. Olympic and Paralympic CEO Sarah Hirshland said Friday that while the U.S. team appreciates efforts aimed at sustainability, […]

4 days ago

Associated Press

Shiny monolith removed from mountains outside Las Vegas. How it got there still is a mystery

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A strange monolith found jutting out of the rocks in a remote mountain range near Las Vegas has been taken down by authorities. How it got there is still unsolved. “It remains unknown how the item got to its location or who might be responsible,” Las Vegas police said Friday in […]

4 days ago

Associated Press

‘The Outsiders’ wins best musical and ‘Stereophonic’ best play as women make strides at Tony Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — “The Outsiders,” a gritty adaptation of the classic young adult novel, became the essence of a Broadway insider on Sunday, winning the Tony Award for best new musical on a night when women made strides. The musical based on the beloved S. E. Hinton book is about rival gangs of haves […]

11 days ago

Associated Press

Her dying husband worried she’d have money troubles. Then she won the lottery

FREEPORT, Pa. (AP) — In the weeks before his death, Karen Coffman’s husband worried she might have money troubles after he was gone. But two weeks before he died in April of complications from a brain tumor, the Pennsylvania woman bought a scratch-off state lottery ticket that netted her $1 million. “When I told him […]

11 days ago

Associated Press

You don’t think corn dogs are haute cuisine? These chefs, using alligator sausage, beg to differ.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Stefani De Palma, an award-winning chef and head of the a team vying to represent the Americas in a French culinary competition in January, knew she wanted her team’s work to feature flavors of her native California. The challenge at the Bocuse d’Or Americas competition this week in New Orleans was […]

12 days ago

Associated Press

High school president writes notes thanking fellow seniors — 180 of them

Emily Post would be proud. A high school class president in Massachusetts who gave a commencement speech wanted to recognize all of his fellow graduates. So he wrote them personal thank-you notes presented at the ceremony — 180 to be exact. “I wish I could’ve acknowledged you all, but there was simply not enough time,” […]

13 days ago

Artist who created Precious Moments figurines depicting teardrop-eyed children dies at the age of 85