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Donald G. Butler

November 14, 1930 April 19, 2018
Donald G. Butler
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Obituary for Donald G. Butler
Donald Gene Butler, age 87, of Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, passed away on Thursday, April 19, 2018, at his residence surrounded by his family.

Nancy Jane (Nickolisen) Butler, age 84, of Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, passed away on Monday, February 6, 2017, surrounded by her family.

Graveside Services for Donald and Nancy will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 15, 2018, at the Little Sioux Township Cemetery of Smithland, Iowa. Rev. Jena Manchester will officiate. The Armstrong - Van Houten Funeral Home of Mapleton, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online

Donald Gene Butler was born in Anthon, Iowa, on November 14, 1930, to William and Bernice Butler. Don was a 1951 graduate of the now renamed School of Forestry at the University of Minnesota.

He was united in marriage to Nancy Jane Nickolisen in Smithland, Iowa, on June 20, 1951. In the first six years of their marriage, Don and Nancy moved 18 times all over the country. They built their Lake Demontreville home (mostly on the weekends) in 1957, where they stayed for 59 years.

Don held several jobs including serving as a lieutenant on an Air Force construction squadron, working as a locksmith, and a traveling salesman. Don worked for several lumber companies including Lampland Lumber Company, where he met Frank Villaume in the 1960s. In 1975 Don and Frank became co-owners of Gibbs Lumber Company in Minneapolis. In 1980 Don became the sole owner, and Gibbs relocated to Lake Elmo, where his wife Nancy joined him in running the company. He found such a home in Lake Elmo that he made his girls promise, on his death bed, that they would continue to patronize the Twin Point, Gormans, and the Lake Elmo Inn.

The earth shifted when Don passed. Don loved especially mysteries of nature, including people. He was curious, ambitious, generous, and funny. He loved trees: growing and planted by man or nature; harvested as paneling, flooring, framing materials, or plywood; carved, doweled, planed, chiseled, or sanded into statues or rulers. Woodworker, orator, philosopher, lumberman, story teller, comedian; his best gift was getting people to love him. We all did.

Don is survived by daughters Melanie (Randy) Schroeder, Melissa (Richard) Severance and Monica Perme; grandchildren Andrea (Erik) Stanton, Grant, Anna and Jack Perme; other relatives, neighbors, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years Nancy Butler; father William Butler; mother Bernice Jessen; stepfather Donald A. Jessen; sister Gwendolyn; grandson William B. Schroeder.

Memorials in Don’s name can be directed to the University of Minnesota CFANS Donan Scholarship.
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11:00 AM 9/15/2018 11:00:00 AM
Little Sioux Township Cemetery

Smithland, IA 51056

Little Sioux Township Cemetery
Smithland 51056 IA
United States

Cemetery Details


Little Sioux Township Cemetery Final Resting Place

Smithland, IA 51056

Smithland 51056 IA
United States

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