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Richard Butts

06-04-1935 to 02-05-2020


Linn County News

Published Feb. 12, 2020


Richard Butts, age 84, of Kansas City, Mo., passed away peacefully at NorthCare Hospice House with family by his side on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. He was born on June 4, 1935, in La Cygne, the youngest son of the late Earnest Butts and Fadelma Conley Butts. Since Fadelma passed away when Richard was a young child, he was raised by the late Nancy “Mom” Williams.

In 1954, Richard married the love of his life Ellen Mae Hayes, and to this union two beautiful children were born, each uniquely special to him.

He worked for Automatic Sprinkler Corp. for over 40 years, working his way up from a designer to regional manager. He went where his job took him relocating to Milwaukee, Minn., Green Bay, Wis., and Minneapolis, Minn. After the young family moved again and again, they finally landed in Kansas City, Mo., in about 1966.

Before retiring to his farm in Cameron, Mo., he did some consultant work. After retirement, Richard realized a lifelong dream of returning to the farm to live in the home he designed and had built on his 248-acre farm in Cameron, Mo. When health issues became a challenge, Richard together with Ellen moved into McCrite Plaza at Briarcliff, Kansas City, Mo., over Christmas 2019.

Richard was a member of the North Kansas City Businessmen’s Breakfast Club. He was passionate about gardening and tending his fruit trees prompting Ellen to nickname him “Farmer Butts.” A true outdoorsman, fishing and hunting and training his bird dogs were favorite hobbies. To know Richard was to love him; he was a great judge of character and to be invited to hunt or fish with him was an honor. He was a wonderful neighbor, sharing his homegrown produce with any who wanted it and could be described as kind and thoughtful. Family and close friends knew he would always be available when needed.

In addition to his parents, Richard was preceded in death by mother Nancy “Mom” Williams, four sisters and a granddaughter, Heather Thompson.

Richard is survived by Ellen Mae (Hayes), wife of over 66 years. He was the loving father of Jerrald (Debbie) Butts of Liberty, Mo., and Kathy (Tom) James of Kansas City, Mo.; proud grandfather of Laura James, Phaedra Bier, Kristina Salisbury, Jerr Butts and MacKenzee Butts; and honored great grandfather to six, Ella, Dane, Anya, Caedmon, Aaron and Ian. He will be fondly remembered by several cousins, nieces and nephew and a host of friends.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Schneider Funeral Home, Pleasanton, Kan. Graveside service was held Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Brooklyn Cemetery, La Cygne.

The family suggests contributions to NorthCare Hospice House in lieu of flowers.


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