Stephen Rancelar Butts

Stephen Rancelar Butts passed away November 8, 2019 at the Serenity House in Tomah, WI after a hard-fought battle with a long series of progressive health issues.

A devoted and unfailing provider for his family, Steve lived a full life surrounded by many who loved him. He was married for 60 years, and he and his wife had four children together – a son and two daughters shortly after they were married, and a surprise baby daughter after the older children were grown. As the oldest son of nine children, he also grew to become the beloved patriarch of his large extended family. Steve dedicated his life and all his resources to making sure his family had every advantage he could give, and as much fun as possible along the way.

Steve’s charisma and charm helped him make friends wherever he went, and he went everywhere. In his 80 years on earth, he lived all over the country and traveled all over the world – and he had many stories to share about his travels with anyone who would listen. Professionally, Steve worked hard and succeeded at many jobs before channeling his entrepreneurial spirit into a long and well-respected career in the service, sale, and development of quarry machinery. He could also build or fix just about anything, and he regularly applied his engineer’s brain to home improvement projects for those around him. His face always brightened around children and animals, and he had a powerful sweet tooth to the end. Steve was also a celebrated singer, often sharing his gift privately with his family, and publicly as a member of several barbershop choral groups, some of which were competitive on the international stage.

No amount of time would have been enough to spend with Steve, but all who knew him will be forever thankful for the time we had with our husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend.

Steve was preceded in death by his parents William Elmer & Eva, sister Mary Ellen, and daughter Tari Janssen. He is profoundly loved, dearly missed, and survived by his wife Gloria; son Donald (Susan); daughters Sindia Jacobs (Jeff) and Meghan Williams (Eric); son-in-law Keith Janssen; grandchildren Sean, Kristin (Will), Siranda (Dave), Rancelar (Nicole), and Samuel; great-grandchildren Theodore, Oliver, and Aria; brothers Richard, William, James, and Tedde; sisters Marjorie Ann, Lucia, and Jean; and many other nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and friends who are better for having known him.

A celebration of Steve’s life will be held at a future date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, Steve’s family suggests donations in his name to the Mayo Clinic, the Tomah Health Serenity House, or your local Humane Society.