Heaven has a roll call. On June 8, 2014, Richard Lee Butturff, 66, of Eyota answered that call to heaven by the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His life passed onto heaven while staying at Seasons Hospice in Rochester, MN from complications of cancer.
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A celebration of his life will take place on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Eyota, with Reverend Jon Vollrath officiating. Visitation will be held at the Schad and Zabel Funeral Home in Plainview on Friday, June 13, 2014, from 5-8 p.m. and again at the church on Saturday from 9-10 a.m. Burial will be in the Hamilton Cemetery, Racine.
Richard, or Dick, as he was known by friends and family, was many things in his lifetime. He was most proud of being a loving husband, an inspiring father, a caring grandfather and a dear friend to many. Life is a reflection of intent. Dick was a good man who grew to be great in many ways as he always intended to treat others with respect, dignity and kind-heartedness. He approached life with honesty and integrity and grew in his years with compassion to help his family and friends any way that he could. He believed in helping others quietly and without expecting anything in return.
He was born of humble beginnings on August 8, 1947, in Austin, MN the son of Lloyd and Minnie (Twentyman) Butturff and grew up in Sargeant, MN. Richard graduated from Hayfield High School, Hayfield, MN. Richard married Barbara Myren on February 19, 1966, in Pine Island, MN. He celebrated 48 glorious years with the love of his life. Through the good and the bad he was always grateful to share his life with such a loving and understanding woman. He wanted the world to know that she made him a better man and for that he was always beholden.
Dick and Barb found professional success together in multiple careers. Dick believed that there was no shame in hard work and was proud to do whatever he had to do to provide for his family. After graduation Dick started building silos for Rochester Silo Company. The couple moved to Belvidere, IL, working at the new Chrysler plant. Later they moved back to the Rochester area. In Dick's younger years he had a wondering and explorers spirit. Dick and Barb moved many times in their life together. Buying a house, flipping it and moving on. Dick worked for Crenlo and worked in multiple areas of product production, welding, painting, time study and lead tech. He was a live out counselor at PORT. Dick went to work at IBM in Rochester, MN and Tucson, AZ where he worked in multiple areas of product production and testing, production control and material review. The San Jose division closed the area in Rochester where Dick worked, completing his time with IBM.
In age, Dick's wandering spirit became calm and was replaced with entrepreneurial spirit. Dick and Barb started R Home doing foster care for the elderly (5 elderly people in their home at any one time) for Olmsted County for 8-1/2 years. Dick at the same time started another business called R & B Contract Manufacturing, Inc. as CEO building circuit board assemblies, UL industrial control panels and electrical and mechanical subassemblies. Under Dick's leadership he grew the company to a level that allowed him to hire many friends and neighbors. This also allowed Barb the opportunity to decide to resign from foster care and be one of the full time employees. The company was successful for 16 years, but as retirement approached and priorities shifted, Dick successfully negotiated the company's sale in November 2010.
Dick enjoyed fishing, hunting, wildlife and feeding the birds. He enjoyed raising beef cows on the farm and sitting out in the gazebo and looking at the countryside. He owned and rode various motorcycles throughout his life. He hill climbed when he was young, climbing at Willow Maker in Utah, winning a trophy out of 800 hill climbers and got to be in a movie "On Any Sunday" by Bruce Brown. He was a lifetime Harley member and belonged to and enjoyed the SE MN Harley Owner's Group #2443. He was also a member of the Lehman Trike Club of St. Charles. On the motorcycles, he and his wife spent many miles enjoying the countryside throughout the United States and Canada. The Sturgis Rally was always an interesting stop. Dick became an adored grandfather and he found a new level of joy and purpose. He never smiled bigger then when his grandchildren were present. Each one of them was his favorite. Throughout his life, he maintained an interest in history, national and world politics. He was a great husband, father, grandfather, friend and business man who had love, honesty, integrity, compassion, commitment, capabilities and an attitude of team work and driven with purpose in all aspects of his life.
Dick is survived by his wife, Barbara, of 48 years. They were blessed with a son, Craig and his wife Jennifer Butturff, Howard Lake, MN, grandson, Daire, granddaughters, Destine, Devinity and Davotion. He is further survived by his brother, Brian (Julie) Butturff of Menomonie Falls, WI, sister, Linda (Chuck) Willihnganz of Rochester, MN, sisters-in-law, Lois (Pat) Bowron and Joyce Butturff, both of Rochester, MN, brother-in-law, Daniel (Bobbi) Manka, Hampshire, IL, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Gary and Wesley, sister, Barbara and brother-in-law, Roger Ecklund. Barb's parents, Palmer and Ruby Myren and brother-in-law, Ray Myren.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Eyota, Seasons Hospice or to Dick's family.
Dick wanted to say thank you to all those who helped take care of him in his final days of life. He wanted all of his friends and relatives to know he cherished every moment of time with each of them and to please not shed a tear, but smile about the joyous time he shared with you. His final thoughts were not of himself, but rather of those he left behind. "May God bless you and watch over you always".
Schad and Zabel Funeral Home, 57 Third Street S.W., Plainview, MN 55964, 507-543-2003,
Schad & Zabel Funeral Home
57 3Rd St Sw Plainview, MN 55964
Published in The Post-Bulletin on June 10, 2014