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John Wayne ButkusMay 15, 1940 ~ June 13, 2017 (age 77)
Cambridge-John Wayne Butkus, 77, of Cambridge, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 into his son’s arms at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington with his loving wife at his side.
Wayne was predeceased by his son, Stanley and his parents, John and Irene (Hunt) Butkus.
Wayne is survived by his best friend and wife, Chris; two sons, John V. Butkus and Albert Butkus, both of Richmond, VT; his first wife, Sandy also of Richmond, VT and his feline companions, Zoom, Chester and Clide.
Wayne was considered a local because he had graduated from Cambridge Central School and had joined the Vermont National Guard. He had served as the Cambridge Assessor, and was King Lion of the Cambridge Lions Club.
He purchased his father’s IGA Store in Eagle Bridge where he enjoyed custom cutting meat, making his famous hot and sweet sausage, or aging and smoking other delights. On Sunday mornings, friends would gather around for coffee, and swapping stories as Wayne worked his magic on a side of beef. In fact, that’s where he met the love of his life, Chris. She was a new teacher at Cambridge Central School and had come to the store to buy fresh chuck steaks. Wayne knew that he was going to marry that woman, and 45 years later the romance still blossomed. They were true soulmates.
After designing and building their passive solar home in Eagle Bridge, he switched professions when he started Butkus Residential Contracting Services. Wayne built, remodeled, and restored old homes, sometimes partnering with his best friend Scott to complete some complicated jobs. On summer vacations, Chris worked along his side, she definitely was not a city gal.
After Chris and Wayne retired, they played golf and were regulars at Windy Hills Golf Course with golf buddies Ray, Don and John.
Wayne and Chris were avid outdoorsmen enjoying 4 wheeling, fishing and hunting. At Wayne’s request, his ashes will be spread on his favorite deer path on the mountain.
It was Wayne’s wish that donations be made in his memory to the Cambridge Valley Seniors, 5 Park Place, Cambridge, NY 12816.
Heartfelt thanks to Rita, for caring for the cats, and checking on Chris twice when her phone died and reminding her that Tuesday was indeed today; thanks to Cathy for remembering stories about Stanley and Wayne, and the St. Luke’s Place family for being on high alert these past few months.
Chris requested that when you think of Wayne that you send a memory and mail it to her at 7 St. Luke’s Place, Cambridge, NY 12816 which will be for her memory book.
Chris would like to thank all the doctors and staff at Twin Rivers Medical, Hoosick Falls Rehabilitation, Southwestern Vermont Emergency Room, and especially the staff at the ICU for their sense of humor and kind and compassionate care of Wayne. Special thanks for finding Rev. Paul Baker (love and thanks Paul), and the dietary staff for locating and serving Wayne his favorite dessert, mandarin orange slices. With his sense of humor, Wayne was a patient that they won’t forget.
It was Wayne’s request that no formal funeral services be held. He wanted everyone to remember him for who he was.