On May 8, 2018, Jim T. Butson, age 88 of rural Platteville, WI set out on his last big adventure, when he decided it was time to let God lead him, on what promises to be, his best adventure yet. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m.
Monday, May 14, 2018 at the Free Methodist Church, Platteville. Rev. Jeff Suits will officiate. Burial will be at Whig Cemetery, rural Platteville. Friends may call from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Sunday, May 13, 2018 at the Melby Funeral Home & Crematory, Platteville, or from 9:30 until the time of the service on Monday at the church. Memorials may be made to the Jim T. Butson Memorial Fund. Online condolences can be made at www.melbyfh.com
Jim was born on October 21, 1929 in Grant County to proud parents, Thomas Albert Butson and Ethel Mae (Gehrke) Butson. He was their first child and was one of only 2 survivors of their 10 children.
Jim was raised and stayed in the rural Platteville area pretty much all of his 88 years of life. He started his schooling at the Buckwheat Ridge School and graduated from Platteville High School in 1947. It was however at the White School where he first met, the love of his life, Darlene (Udelhoven) Butson, as he dropped his sister off. They married on February 28, 1948 and were lucky enough to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary together this year. Their marriage proudly boasted seven children, Marge (Garry) Stluka, and Tom (Nancy) Butson of Platteville. Vicky Gile of Mineral Point, Duane (Diana) Butson and Lorie (Ed) Leibfried of Platteville. Tami (Bob) Bredeson of Merrimac, WI. And their beloved son Alan (Tracy) Butson, who they lost in an accident in September 2005. Along with the seven children, they are blessed with 21 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.
Jim loved adventure, He started out at a very young age water skiing and fell in love with it so much, that he and Darlene purchased several boats over the years. Although Darlene was not a water fan, she loved doing what Jim loved most. Jim taught all seven of his children to water ski, as well as many grandchildren, friends and relatives. He loved to try new things and was not only able to slalom, he could ski on one ski, holding the rope with his other foot, and on a few occasions, he was even brave enough to try barefoot skiing, along with successfully building a pyramid, just like Tommy Bartlett! Jim outlasted all of his children water skiing, as he last skied just 8 years ago, on Lake Wisconsin.
But, that was not the only adventure he enjoyed, as he was pretty much willing to give anything a try and was almost 80, when he enjoyed sky jumping for the first time and zip lining as well. Anything thrown Jim's way, he was likely to give a try, as he truly did love adventure. Jim and Darlene spent many years camping with various family members, whether it was out West or on the Mississippi River bank. What started as a tent, turned into a pop-up, and eventually became a motor home. However, his favorite trip of all was traveling to Alaska, where they spent two months taking in the beauty of God's splendor. After he retired from John Deere, they purchased a boat that had sleeping quarters and took a long trip up the Mississippi, something they had dreamed of doing. He also enjoyed deer hunting with his sons every November and snowmobiling when given the chance.
Jim seemed to live a “blessed” life, as his adventures and fearlessness, got him into a few life-threatening situations as well; such as being gored by a bull in 1981, falling off a combine, having a “run-in” with a motorcycle and rolling over two different milk trucks, back in the day. As a young man of 23, he survived polio; and has been a cancer survivor for many years.
Jim had many jobs throughout his life, but when it came right down to it, he was definitely a farmer through and through. Along with that, he worked 25years at John Deere, retiring in 1989. He worked hard throughout his life, but had fun as well. Sundays, were saved for church first, then waterskiing throughout the summer months. Jim and Darlene were members of the Whig Church in rural Platteville many years, but in later years, attended the Free Methodist Church, also in Platteville. They enjoyed winters in Harlingen Texas for over 20 years where he enjoyed many activities such as golf, shuffleboard and playing cards; but come mid March , he was itching to get back home to his family and farm and often came home with a new card game to teach the family. Jim will be truly missed by his wife and family.
Jim was proceeded in death by his parents, his in-laws, Wilson and Cecil Udelhoven, his sister, Jane Butson, his brother in-law Jerry Udelhoven, sister-in-law, Pat Udelhoven as well as his youngest son, Alan. Along with this, there were aunts and uncles and cousins too numerous to mention, that he was very close to as well.