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

12 thoughts on “JOSEPH “Joe” BUTTS

  1. So very sorry to hear of Joe’s death. Our condolences and prayers are with you all as you move through this difficult time.

  2. Chuck & Elaine are Sadden for the loss of Joe . He will always be in our heart.
    Miss Our Cowboy Friend!!

  3. So sorry for your loss

  4. Praying for God to comfort Joes’ family at this time. We are so sorry. We loved visiting with Joe during the NISW Trail Rides.

  5. I am so sorry to hear of Joe’s passing. I had the privilege several times of riding along side him at many trail rides throughout the years.

  6. Our deepest sympathies. So blessed to know Joe. My dad George Chapman best friend since childhood. Always made everyone smile. A recent visit with my dad had my daughter laughing and cheering dad up. He taught my husband to drive a tractor. And my sons loved trips to the horse auctions. He’s going to be so missed. Much love to Donna and her family.

  7. My sincere sympathy & condolences to Donna, Kimberly & Kerilee and extended families as I learned recently of Joe’s ailment and shocked to hear of his passing from this earth’s labors and loves. Remember Joe as the ever smiling, optimistic man that anyone could call friend, was a great neighbor and like so many other of our farm neighbor friends was taken far too soon. Can trust God had a greater need for a bit of a horse showman that we do and called Joe into HIS service.
    My earliest & fond memory came to me back in about 1964 when Joe loaned us his strong John Deere 70 to run the blower filling our Harvestore as our tired Farmall H couldn’t handle it! Like many of our neighbors of the day, he offered it gladly with no expectation of return or payment but a kind gesture we would gladly return at any time. Rest in peace Joe as you gave so many of your neighbors an example of kindness & generosity! Glenn Bork


  9. I will always remember the great Trail Rides we were on and your wonderful sense of humor!! RIP HAPPY TRAILS So sorry for your loss

  10. To the Joe Butts family
    We are so sorry for your loss. Joe will be missed greatly but we have great memories! Our thoughts, love and prayers are with you in this difficult time. Love Rick and Sue

  11. Kerilee, so sorry to hear about your Dad, my Sympathy to you and your family

  12. So sorry to hear about Joe. He was a nice neighbor and horseman.

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