Robert James Dion
Nokomis, FL - It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Robert 'Butch' Dion, 80, after an eight-week long battle with bladder cancer.
Butch was born March 16, 1940 to Buster and Irene Dion, the third of five children, raised and educated in Burlington, VT. He was a member of the last graduating class of Cathedral High School, where he met and later married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Sue Corley. Together, they celebrated 60 years of marriage and raised four devoted children.
In 1959, Butch enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Hazelwood as a Radioman Second Class during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was proud of his naval service, and spoke of it often. Upon his discharge in 1963, Butch began a 20-year long career driving bus for VT Transit Co., a job where he made life-long friends, many of whom he reunited with annually to share stories and a lot of laughs. Butch retired from the YMCA in 2002, where he served as Facilities Manager for many years.
In retirement, Butch and Barb created an incredibly fun-filled life for themselves in Nokomis, FL. Butch was renowned for his witty and 'colorful' sayings, and used them spiritedly. With regard to life in FL, 'Every day is Saturday; nothin' to do and all day to do it in' was one of his favorites. For the past 18 years, he read avidly, golfed three times a week, frequented casinos with Barb and their friends regularly, loved a day at the beach, and enjoyed staying fit. And when he and Barb hosted dinner parties and gatherings, he was 'chief cook and bottle washer.' He enjoyed many great friendships in retirement; neighbors at Terra Cove, co-workers and members of Waterford Golf Course, and other VT 'snowbirds' and family members who'd settled nearby. He enjoyed working on projects in and around his home, his neighborhood, and for his children and their families.
Butch was a 37 year-long member of Alcoholics Anonymous. He was full of gratitude for the fellowship of AA, as it gave him the life he always wanted.
Butch was a loving, caring, fun and involved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. There was nothing he wouldn't do for his family and he supported them with equal measure of guidance and freedom. His love for his 5 grandchildren, and the investment he made into his relationships with each of them, was priceless. Although he gave them one-of-a-kind nicknames, they were all 'Papa's Boy' or 'Papa's Girl'. They will carry his love, and all of the beautiful memories they made with him, always. 'Love ya, Cheeky- Baaark!' Butch was a hard-working, humble, steadfast, gentle man, and he practiced his Catholic faith throughout his 80 years. His passing has bruised the hearts of all who love him; he will forever be loved and missed.
In addition to his loving wife Barbara, Butch is survived by his children and their families; Mary Jo and Randy Miller, DDS (Brian, Michael & Maggie), Michael and Lynette Loges Dion, Marty Dion (Amanda & her daughter, Amelia) and Melissa Dion (Jack Maloney & his father, Jason). He also leaves his sister, Mary Lou Contois, a special grandniece, Maddy Corley, in-laws in both the Dion and Corley families, and many loving nieces and nephews. His family sends special thanks to their cousin, Michelle Dion, for the love and support she provided to all of them during their dad's illness. They are also filled with gratitude for the outpouring of love and comfort from so many friends. "Thank you for the beautiful remembrances that have celebrated our father and sustained our mother these past few months. You have been kind beyond measure, and we are so blessed to have you in our lives."
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 am October 22, 2020 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Osprey, FL. Interment, with full military honors, will follow at Sarasota National Cemetery.
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Published by The Burlington Free Press from Sep. 24 to Sep. 25, 2020.