April 19, 2013: Missing Butch...Our Running Comrade

Butch, our fearless leader, with his grandkids
Butch was the leader of our running group. We called our group the "Early Morning Milers". Butch led and organized our morning runs which were different routes and mileages depending on the day. Butch sent a group e-mail providing these details.

As our unanimously appointed leader, Butch didn't take his position lightly. We could count on Butch's weekly e-mail like clock work. If there was a change in the schedule or a special request, we ran it by Butch first or had Hell to pay. He was our running patriarch, which was an admirable position given that organizing us was like herding cats.

We spanned a wide range of ages, with different motivations for running, and varying eclectic personalities. This is a nice way of saying people who run at 5:30 each morning couldn't possibly be normal. The varying runs and runners brought interest to our routine. Everyone had a story and we heard them all as we logged our miles. It was more than a run, it was sharing life.

People came and went from our running group for a variety of reasons. After fighting a valiant battle with cancer, Butch left us in death on April 19, 2008. The weekly e-mails and the "Early Morning Milers" are now a distant memory as our group has since disbanded into smaller groups.

We miss our fearless leader and we think of Butch often. He would not be happy with our dropping the ball on our group runs and not keeping the weekly e-mails going. On occasion we do all get together and reminisce on our many Butch runs; healthy and sick. We are due again for an EM2 reunion. Time for a cup of cheap coffee, $1 Prairie Life style, to toast our comrade.

A cherished gift Butch gave to each of us before he died


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