Joseph A. Butts, age 79, of Virgil, passed away on Monday, December 28, 2020. He was born on January 4, 1941, in Elgin, IL, to Lee and Margaret (Lieving) Butts.

Joe graduated from Burlington Central High School in 1959. He was a member of the football team and the FFA Club.

He married Donna Nelson on July 28, 1961 and they spent their life on the farm.

After retiring from the Midwest Operating Engineers, Local 150, he continued to farm the family fields.

His passion for horses evolved from trail riding to cowboy mounted shooting on his horse Barbie .

Joe was a member of the Fox Valley Saddle Associat ion , the Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin Trail Ride Association , the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association and the Prairie State Rebels Shoot ing Club .

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Donna ; two daughters: Kimberly (Steve) Wohead and Kerilee Butts; two grandchildren: Andrew Herrick and Rachael Herrick; one great-grandson : Trevin Wackerlin; one sister: Donna Vee Bower ; several nieces, nephews, cousins and a countryside full of friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents: Lee and Margaret Butts; two sisters Dorothy Struckman and Nancy Bower , two nephews: Mark Bower and Tony Bower .

Visitation will be Sunday, January 3, 2021, from 12-1pm, followed by a funeral service to celebrate his life, at St. Peter’ s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 43W301 Plank Rd, Hampshire, IL 60140 Rev. Thomas E. Eaves, pastor of the church, will officiate with interment to follow at South Burlington Cemetery.

Social distance & masks.

Life story provided by family.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St . Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church or to the charity of your choice. Tributes and memories may be left on the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page or at

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