PEORIA - William Edward Butler, 90, of Peoria died at 4:10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, at Heartland of Riverview in East Peoria.
He was born on May 2, 1923, in Sullivan, Ill., to Joseph Edward and Nina Almeda (Nighswander) Butler.
He graduated from East Peoria High School in 1941 and worked at Armour Packing and Pabst Brewery, before entering the U.S. Army on Jan. 29, 1943. Bill served in the 813th Tank Destroyer Battalion in Africa. His unit was moved to England prior to the invasion and he was in Scotland and Ireland as well. He entered Normandy shortly after the initial invasion. While fighting in France, he was removed from the front for medical treatment for malaria he had unknowingly contracted in Africa. He returned to his unit to find that his M10 tank destroyer had been hit by enemy fire that critically wounded one crewman and killed the rest. During the Rhineland campaign, malaria struck again and he lost 90 pounds of body weight. He was flown to England and shipped back stateside for treatment and retraining for the Pacific. He was discharged Oct. 31, 1945. He was awarded the American Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the European African Middle Eastern Service medal with three Bronze Battle Stars.
William returned to Peoria and married Elizabeth Lorraine Gooding on Aug. 25, 1946. She preceded him in death on March 29, 1996. He married Veva Domnick on June 27, 2003. She passed away April 5, 2009.
Bill had a 40-year career with Caterpillar Tractor and retired as a line inspector. He worked two jobs during most of his work life.
He enjoyed motorcycles, listening to music and dancing. He made many good friends over the years attending the local weekend dances and he was a member of the East Peoria American Legion and the Caterpillar Retirees Club.
He attended Forrest Hill United Methodist Church.
William was preceded in death by his parents, both wives and oldest son, Robert Lee Butler (KIA Vietnam).
He is survived by son, William Eugene Butler of Peoria; daughter, Theresa Kay (Mark) Claver of Peoria; son, Michael Todd Butler (Jennifer) of Peoria; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
A graveside service, with military honors, will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, at Elmwood Township Cemetery in Elmwood. The Rev. Curt Keller will officiate.
Oaks-Hines Funeral Home in Elmwood is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the
Online condolences may be posted at www.oakshinesfuneralhome.com.