Donald Dean Butler

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On Saturday, August 27, 2022, Donald Dean Butler passed away at the age of 95.  Donald was born January 16, 1927, in Effingham, Illinois, to Ellis and Ruth (Mascher) Butler.  He graduated from Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Kentucky, in 1945.  Also in 1945, after his 18th birthday, he was drafted into the United States Army to serve during World War II.  At the end of his service, he returned to Kentucky and married his high school sweetheart, Martha Sue Owings on June 15, 1947.  They raised their son, William Steven Butler, together and celebrated 63 years of devoted marriage before Sue was called home to our Lord.

A man of deep religious belief, Donald was ordained a Deacon in 1973 at First Baptist Church in Park Forest South, Illinois.  Donald also proudly worked 38 years for the Illinois Central Railroad, serving as a machinist and then a foreman in several shops throughout the Chicagoland Area.  In his retirement, Donald enjoyed assisting his beloved “Miss Sue” at craft fairs throughout the Midwest Covered Bridge Festivals and the Appalachian Mountains, and doting on his grandchildren, Catherine, Elizabeth, and Mark.  Later in life, after being widowed, Donald relocated to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, with his son and daughter-in-law, to live closer to his granddaughters, grandson-in-law, and two of his great-grandchildren.

Donald was an old-fashioned gentleman who believed in family and the value of hard work.  He was devoted to his “Miss Sue”, whom he loved to his dying day.  He had a playful side to match his loving side and a deep belly-laugh that made you want to laugh with him.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents, Ellis and Ruth (Mascher) Butler, his brother, James Butler, several cousins, his wife, Martha Sue (Owings) Butler, and a great-granddaughter, Alexandra Nicole Woelm.  He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, W. Steven and Martha (Donlon) Butler; his granddaughters Elizabeth M. Butler and Catherine A.F. (Butler) Woelm; his grandson, Mark C. Butler; his grandson-in-law Geofrey A. Woelm; and his great-grandchildren: James D. Woelm, Sean B. Butler, Meagan C. Woelm, Logan V.D. Butler, Inara R. Butler, and Aeris R. Butler.

Donald will be laid to rest at a graveside service on Monday, September 26, 2022, at 1:00 pm, at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens, located at 1545 Orchard Dr., Lenoir, NC 28645.  The service will be performed by Rev. Kay Smith, pastor of Zion United Church of Christ, in Lenoir, North Carolina.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family by visiting

The Lendman Funeral Home & Gathering Center, Manitowoc is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.

Lendman Funeral Home & Gathering Center


Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties

Legacy Gathering Center


Brown, Outagamie, Calumet, Kewaunee, Door Counties

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