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Wayne Butts

We were extremely saddened to learn that Wayne William Butts passed away in St. George, Utah, on Nov. 19, 2012.  His wife Shirley was at his side.

Wayne was born Oct. 20, 1938, to Harold and Ena (Ingram) Butts in Eureka.

He was raised on his grandparents’ homestead on the West Kootenai near the Canadian border.  He attended the one room school house of Tooley Lake and then his high school years were at Lincoln County High School.  He graduated with the class of 1956.  During his school years he enjoyed fishing, hunting and trapping various animals for their pelts.

Upon graduation he joined the U.S. Army.  His military career held many special adventures, memories and friends.  Upon his discharge he met Trudy Rae Peck, and they were married in 1962.  From that union two daughters were born that he was very proud of and loved more than life itself.  He always was quick to tell of their accomplishments and adventures.

He was divorced from Trudy in 1983. He went on to marry Helen Watson in 1985, and they later  divorced in 2002. He married Shirley Roberts in November 2010.

Wayne worked at various jobs, such as the Eureka Creamery, Gwynn Lumber, Pacific Standard Insurance, and ended his working career with a 31 year retirement from the Lincoln County Road Department.   He took great pride in his work and only had his plow truck on its side once!

He always enjoyed visiting with people, keeping a meticulous yard and was very involved with the VFW.  Very notably, Wayne was a lifetime member of the VFW in Eureka, Post 6786.  He served as the veterans service officer and the post chaplain for many years. Wayne was found serving holiday meals for the veterans for many years, wearing his big smile. We’re sure he is still serving now.  He was also instrumental in making sure the white crosses indicating road deaths were marked for the American Legion.

Wayne was passionate about bird watching, traveling, Montana history and family get-togethers.  He was always the first person to a family gathering and the very last to leave!  He cherished his family and his heritage of growing up on the West Kootenai.  His daughters would state that their dad never knew a stranger and that everyone was a friend.  Countless times they would be sitting in the car, waiting to go, and their dad would still be in a restaurant talking to the chef, waitress or hostess.

Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Ena Butts.  He is survived by his wife Shirley; his two daughters; Lori and husband Jim Sherwood, and grandson Andrew of Mulino, Ore.;  Lisa and husband Ken Marek of Eureka; grandson Patrick and wife Anna Marek of Milliken, Colo.; granddaughter Jessica and husband Josh Hunt, and great-grandson Jonathan of Kalispell; brother Sherman and wife Faye of Eureka;  sisters Judy and husband Stu Cannon, and Lois and husband Charlie Croucher, both of Libby; and many nieces and nephews who will miss the stories he told.  All will miss his ready smile and infectious laugh.

No services will be held at this time per Wayne’s request.  There will be a private family burial to be determined at a later date.  Anyone wanting to make a donation in Wayne’s name may do so to the VFW of Eureka.

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