Race and Give: JB's Ride Continues

On any given day in the small rural town of Chillicothe, IL, you may have glimpsed a man riding an Iron Horse bike down Bradley Street or Truitt Ave, heading off to his in-laws or down to the local Catholic Church.  You would have likely noted this man because of his bulk and size, or because of the dog trotting alongside him, or perhaps because he saw you on the sidewalk, recognized you in some way, either casually or intimately, and engaged you in a conversation about...well, anything.  His smile left some imprint upon you, his personality may have lifted you up in a way, and his banter surely had you laughing...

On December 1, 2017 our friend, father, and husband Jim Butler (JB) was very suddenly taken to his eternal resting place. We all continue to mourn this loss in different ways, but all of us have reflected on the legacy that this great man leaves behind. Something that has become clear during this time of reflection is that JB above all, valued his family, his friends, his faith, and service towards others. You need only to look at where JB spent his time and treasure to find that these pieces were the core of his person. JB’s time was largely spent watching or coaching his son’s sporting events, being at home with Ms. Dee, visiting the homebound for OSF, or helping out at the local St. Edward's Parish. 

Even though these things encompassed the bulk of how JB spent his time, it is truly difficult to capture his spirit in such a retelling.  He was a man of whimsy and curiosity; you could strike up a conversation with him on virtually any subject, and he would have some sort of knowledge or connection to it.  He showed interest in all those he met, and his warmth during his interactions with others was infectious.  He had an eclectic taste in food, sport, and music.  Above all, the size of his spirit, the sheer magnitude of his character, was larger than life.  

As we grapple with his loss, that joyfulness and zeal for life, caring and compassionate character, and competitive spirit compels us not to only mourn his passing, but to celebrate his legacy, even though that legacy is difficult to define in any singular aspect.  In doing so, we would like to pay homage to two things that were a foundational part of his life: sport and faith. 

In this effort, we would like to share with you all an initiative that we hope will pay homage to these qualities and serve as an enduring reflection of the man we all loved so dearly and miss so keenly. 

The Butler Brothers, a few very close friends, and anyone who wishes to participate will be riding in a 50 mile bike race ( https://peninsulacenturyspringclassic.com/ ) on June 16, 2018. We look forward to a weekend of competition and fun as we share a weekend to share memories of JB.  

We also are raising funds for St. Anthony of Padua Nursery & Primary School in the Diocese of Meru, Kenya to serve as an enduring legacy for a man who was very giving to foreign missions. This mission is an apostolate of the Conventual Franciscan Friars, a community that JB has had a relationship for a number of years. The friars opened the school in 2011 as a means of serving the educational needs of the local children. The school has a population of 247 children, both girls and boys, ranging from Nursery School to Grade 8. This school is in need of funding for two iniatives: one is the school food program to ensure that students have a meal each day. This other is for a school computer lab to enhance the children’s learning in a digital world.  

Please consider giving to this mission school that is in need. JB more than once talked about wanting to become a missionary to use his talents as a Physical Therapist to those in need. We truly feel that this mission is a great way to keep the legacy of JB alive to those he has supported finically, with his prayers, and by his service in the community. Thank you so much in advance for your contribution to JB's legacy. If you wish to race in June, please reach out to one of us. We would love to give you more information.



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Jack Butler 
Milwaukee, WI
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