Remembering Susan Butler

Susan Joy Butler, 63, passed peacefully at home surrounded by her husband, Washington White, and family. She was born on June 15, 1958, to George and Shirley Butler of Germantown, MD.  Susan, the third child in a family of four, was raised on the family farm and worked in the family business, Butler’s Orchard.

Susan earned her degree in Horticulture from the University of Maryland; and worked for a year at Grady Auvil’s apple ranch before returning home to the family business. From picking strawberries to general management, Susan mastered all aspects of the family business and strove to teach the value of personal connection and supreme customer service to all hired by Butler’s Orchard. he mentored generations of employees teaching them about patience, communication, follow through – personal skills that are foundations of life and leadership.

Future Farmers of America – Damascus Chapter; the Maryland Horticulture Society; and the North American Strawberry Growers Association. She also served on a number of county advisory boards: Agriculture Advisory Board,  Agriculture Preservation Board, Maryland Farm Bureau Board of Directors; and was a member of the International Fruit Tree Growers Association.

Susan retired from Butler’s Orchard and she and Washington opened Waters Orchard for apple picking… and soon expanded to a hard cidery, opening Doc Waters Cidery in 2018. The couple thoroughly enjoyed pouring hours into growing apples and pouring cider for happy customers. The transformation and development of this beautiful nearly 100 acre property is a testament of their love and a shared passion for agriculture and the land.

After experiencing the joy and excitement of planning, planting, launching and growing these two successful businesses, Susan and Washington decided to sell Waters Orchard, Doc Waters Cidery, and their farm land, to niece and nephews Hallie, Tyler and Ben Butler in late 2021.

Throughout her life Susan loved to travel. Her well worn passport features trips to British Columbia, The Netherlands, Ireland, Machu Picchu/Peru, Mexico, France, UK, and New Zealand – which was a personal highlight for she and Washington.  Domestically, Branch Lake in Ellsworth, Maine, was one of her favorite destinations. With Outward Bound – she went hiking, kayaking, and dogsledding – loving and enjoying the outdoors. Additionally, Susan trained guide-dog puppies for the Guide Dog Foundation to help provide a profoundly better life for recipients. Susan was a very kind and generous soul – providing love, care, opportunity and inspiration to so many.  She has spread joy in the same way she planted daffodils – far and wide.

Susan was predeceased by her father George in 2000, her brother Todd in 2010, and her mother Shirley, 2020. Survived by her loving husband Washington W. White IV and step children Mackenzie Brown, spouse Jeff and daughter Audrey, Utaw Cuseo White and his wife Emilie, Georgia Cuseo White; brother Wade Butler, his wife Angela and their 3 children – Hallie Blue Butler Van Horn – Billy and daughters Aurora and Willa; Tyler Cole Butler – Erika and daughter Scarlett and son Cole; Ben Walker Butler – Amy and son Beau; sister Carol Butler; sister-in-law Susie Butler – fiance’ John Miller, son Matt Butler and his wife Kayla.

In Susan’s memory, please consider donating to a charity of your choice.


Both Washington & Susan have deep ties to the agricultural community in Montgomery County. Washington grew up on his family’s farm surrounded by the azalea nursery and beef cattle. Susan was raised at Butler’s Orchard, where she was immersed in growing fruits and vegetables. Over the years, we both developed a great love for farming, respect for the environment, and a passion for fresh, local food. Our similar backgrounds led us to each other and to the realization that we shared the life-long dream of starting our own farm. Waters Orchard is the culmination of those dreams.

We invite you to come and walk the fields of our dreams.

Please visit our beautiful orchard and share in the harvest of our bountiful apple crop.

Welcome to Waters Orchard!

Washington and Susan