Cremation to follow service as part of Budhist ceremony
Obituary of Butha Sar
Butha Sar, 82, of Sterling, Virginia, peacefully passed away during the morning of October 7, 2018, surrounded by his loving family members.
Butha was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on October 30, 1935, into an influential family and was the youngest of Kim and Neou Sar’s six children. After his formal education, he enrolled in the Khmer Royal Air Force flight academy and was commissioned as an officer/pilot in 1955 flying C-47/DC-3 transport planes. During his 20 years career with the Khmer Air Force, Butha’s training took him through Salon de Provence - France, Copenhagen - Denmark, Bangkok - Thailand, and Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, where he made indelible connections that would guide his family decisions during 1975.
During the Communist/Khmer Rouge war in Cambodia from early 1970 to April 1975, as a military pilot, Butha served in various duties to include Flight Operations Commanding Officer, and ultimately became Pochentong Air Force Base Commander in Phnom Penh. As the Khmer Rouge forces began to encircle the capital - Phnom Penh, Butha and his troops evacuated countless families out of the country to safety. In the early morning of April 17, 1975, as the Khmer Rouge forces marched into Phnom Penh, Lieutenant Colonel Sar finally evacuated his own family and sought refuge in a refugee camp in Thailand.
Under the refugee relocation and sponsorship programs, Butha and his family immigrated to Fort Indiantown Gap refugee camp in Pennsylvania, and later settled in Northern Virginia during the fall of 1975. In a span of 30 years, Butha’s jobs included being a produce manager at a local supermarket and a shuttle driver for a rental car company. He officially retired in 2008.
Butha is preceded in death by his parents and 4 siblings. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Chum Thery, and their 6 children: oldest son Sithik who married Caroline and has 3 sons Timothy, Andrew and Brian; oldest daughter Sotta who married Michael; middle daughter Khema who married Kent; middle son Tikheayuk who married Megan and has 2 children Elizabeth and Ryan; youngest son Rithy; and youngest daughter Sophorn. Butha cherished his family by sharing his adventurous spirit that involved domestic travels to Miami, New York City, Atlantic City, Luray Caverns, Point Lookout and the Chesapeake Bay. He also loved to host (and attend) family gatherings and cookouts.
The Sar family will receive extended family and friends on Friday, October 12, 2018, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at Adams-Green Funeral Home, 721 Elden Street, Herndon, VA, followed by a communal meal at the Royal Buffet Restaurant, 492 Elden Street, Herndon, VA. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Cambodian Buddhist Society Inc., 13800 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20904, telephone 301-622-6544.