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Butts, Cyril William
Cyril William Butts, Sr., 94, of Knoxville formerly of Galesburg, died at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at Knox County Nursing Home, Knoxville.

He was born on October 22, 1916 in Galesburg, Illinois the son of Daniel John and Anna Elizabeth Coomes Butts. His mother died when he was 3 years old. His father then married Eleanor Dunne who raised him. Cyril married Anna Rose Weech in Corpus Christi Catholic Church on August 7, 1948. She preceded him in death on December 3, 1986. He is survived by a son, Cyril William Butts, Jr. of Galesburg; 2 daughters, Elizabeth Ann Keller of Plymouth, MA and Bridget Kathleen Badesch of Chicago; and 7 grandchildren, Joshua Keller, Moira Keller Penniman, Sarah Badesch Wilson, David Badesch, Cyril William Butts, III, Anna Kathleen Rose Butts Whitmer, and Brian Daniel Butts. He is also survived by 4 great grandchildren, Cecelia Keller, Levi Keller, Sydney Wilson, and Riley Wilson; and 2 step grandchildren, Kristine Korenburg and Katherine Loveland. He was preceded in death by a son, Robert Joseph Butts, M.D.; brothers, Thomas Butts, Daniel J. Butts, Charles W. Butts, James Arthur Thomas, and Joseph Vincent Butts; and his sisters, Sister Theresa Rose (Rosemary) Butts, S-P, and Anna Lee Hicks.

Cyril attended and graduated valedictorian from Corpus Christi Lyceum in 1935. He joined the US Army in August 1941. He served his country for 4 years in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. He was on his way to Okinawa to participate in the Invasion of Japan when the atomic bombs were dropped on that Country. He operated an Army radio station in Alaska. He was discharged in August 1945. In addition he served as chairman of the Knox County Board Veterans Committee. Cyril was a lifelong member of Corpus Christi Catholic Church and the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Council 556.

Cyril worked on the C.B.&Q. (Burlington Route) and Burlington Northern for 38 years as a conductor and Brakeman on passenger and freight trains. He worked at the Galesburg Register Mail for many years. He was also president of the Burlington Northern Veterans Association and secretary of the United Transportation Union and a member for 65 years.
As a 16 year member of the Knox County Board he led the fight to restore recognition for the Knox County Nursing Home Employees Union after the County Board had voted to terminate it. He served as Chairman of the Knox County Board Courthouse Committee and was a member of the Illinois Association of County Officials. He also served as chairman of the Knox County Courthouse Centennial Cornerstone Committee. He was a precinct committeemen and active member of the Knox County Democratic Central Committee from the late 1940s to his retirement from the Knox County Board in 1992.

Cyril was co-chair with his wife Anna Rose of the Corpus Christi Church Centennial Cornerstone Committee. He also helped construct the new Knights of Columbus Hall. He was one of the founders of Railroad Days and was a member of the Galesburg Railroad Museum. Cyril played the harmonica and played in a harmonica trio with his father and brother on the radio and at the Orpheum Theatre in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Funeral Mass will be 10:30 a.m. Monday at Corpus Christi Catholic Church with Rev. William Miller, I.C. officiating. Burial will follow in St. Josephs Cemetery, with military rites conducted by Ralph M. Noble American Legion Post #285 Honor Guard. The rosary will be prayed at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Watson Funeral Home with the visitation to follow from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Honor Guard will be present during the visitation and will have a chalice presentation at 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Friends of Knox County Nursing Home or to Corpus Christi Catholic Church. Visit www.watsonfh.net to share condolences.
by Newsroom
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