Richard Butcher

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Richard Eldon "Dick" Butcher, 77, died on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 after fighting cancer for four years.

He was born on Feb. 21, 1936, to Eloise Reef and Paul Butcher in Adams County, Ind. near Berne. He grew up on a farm and graduated from Jefferson High School in Adams County, Ind. in 1954. Shortly thereafter, in June 1954, he joined the U.S. Air Force. He was honorably discharged in February 1958.

He moved to Wilmington in 1959 for employment in a hatchery business with his brother-in-law, Frank Poindexter, and his father, Paul Butcher, on the Townsley Farm north of Wilmington.

He married Rita Ann Haley of Port William on Sept. 2, 1961, at the St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Wilmington. Rita, his wife of 52 years, survives. The Butchers had 10 children, all surviving.

In 1961, Dick joined the Ohio Air National Guard at Clinton County Air Force Base and also worked for the civil service. His National Guard unit was transferred to the Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Columbus, where he worked for 10 years. He worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for 10 years for the U.S. Air Force Reserves and the civil service. In 1991, he retired after 32 years from both the military and the civil service.

After retirement, he worked at the St. Columbkille Catholic Church until health problems forced him to retire once again in 2012.

Dick was an avid bowler, participating in tournaments with the Ohio Air National Guard at both the Clinton County Air Force Base and at Rickenbacker. In the early 1960s, he bowled a 288 game.

He played as a pitcher for the Ohio Air National Guard softball teams that won several national softball tournaments. He also was an avid supporter of his children's sports and musical activities, from elementary school to college. For decades, he could be found in the bleachers of various sporting events for Wilmington City Schools. For many years, on Mondays, his day off, he volunteered at his children's schools. He also attended his grandchildren's events until his health began to fail.

Dick and Rita Butcher shared many activities in their marriage, including serving as 4-H leaders of an outdoor cooking club; assisting with the St. Columbkille Youth Group; and founding the We Believe in Marriage Ministry at St. Columbkille Catholic Church.

Dick was a dedicated fan of the Cincinnati Reds, and one of the highlights of his retirement years was attending the Reds' "Baseball Heaven" fantasy camp in 2002 in Sarasota, Fla. He also spent 12 years enjoying spring training as a fan in Sarasota. Many family members, relatives and friends were welcomed by the Butchers to attend spring training with them.

He was a member of the St. Columbkille Catholic Church.

He is survived by his sons, Richard Michael Butcher of Wilmington, Robert (Dana) of Park Hills, Ky., Patrick (Kelli) of Lees Summit, Mo., Anthony (Maria) of Wilmington, Jeffery (Angie) of Covington, Ky., and Jerome (Julie) of Wilmington; daughters, Christine (Randy) Evans of Carroll, Alicia (Joseph) Denen of Washington Court House, Katrina Butcher and fiancé Rob Roberts of Lebanon, and Regina (Justin) Esslinger of Portland, Texas; 16 grandchildren, Jessica and Nicole Butcher of Jacksonville, Fla., Haley, Sadie, Jacob and Joshua Evans of Carroll, Hannah Butcher of Cincinnati, Nicholas Butcher of Wilmington, Ana and Josey Butcher of Covington, Ky., Emily and Matthew Butcher of Wilmington, Mary Ellen Denen of Washington Court House, Lucy Butcher of Lebanon, and Emma and Cole Esslinger of Portland, Texas; and a great-grandchild, Ava Canup of Carroll.

He is also survived by his sisters, Gladine Poindexter and Mary Marsh; his brother-in-law, James (Donna) Haley of Sabina; his brother-in-law Jack (Nancy) Haley of Wilmington; his brother-in-law, Patrick (Brenda) Haley of Wilmington; as well as several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings, Martha Kost, Kenneth Butcher and Jean Norman.

Prayers will be said 10:10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Fisher-Edgington Funeral Home, 97 W. Locust St. at North Mulberry Street in Wilmington, followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the St. Columbkille Catholic Church, 73 N. Mulberry St., with Dr. Marc Sherlock officiating. The interment will follow at the Sugar Grove Cemetery in Wilmington.

The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Columbkille Catholic Church Memorial Fund, or to the St. Vincent de Paul organization at St. Columbkille, 73 N. Mulberry St., Wilmington, OH 45177, or to organizations of your choice.

Funeral Home
Fisher-Edgington Funeral Home
97 W Locust St
Wilmington, OH 45177
(937) 382-2146
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Published in News Journal from Feb. 11 to Feb. 12, 2014
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