Ellsworth Calvin Butler, 83, died Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009 at the Big Sandy Nursing Home of natural causes.
Ellsworth has been cremated and will take his final flight sometime in the near future, when his ashes will be scattered over his family farm southeast of Big Sandy. Memorials may be sent to the Big Sandy Medical Center or to any charity of your choice. Due to family member health issues, a memorial service will be held at a later date. Services were entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home. Ellsworth was born on Aug. 8, 1926, in Big Sandy to Arthur and Vioka (Beck) Butler, their first born and only son. He grew up on the family farm southeast of Big Sandy, attending country school at the Sheep Coulee School and then attending high school in Big Sandy while staying at the "dorms." He graduated in 1944. He entered the Army in April 1945 and was stationed stateside at Camp Hood Texas. He drove ambulance and light trucks, hauling people and equipment. He also did maintenance and light construction. He separated from military duty with an honorable discharge in June 1946 due to a knee injury. He returned to Big Sandy after his military time to help work the family farm, as well as pursue other interests. He used his GI Bill to learn to fly. Ellsworth married Lois Drake on June 25, 1950. Ellsworth was a charter member of the Big Sandy Saddle Club, helping in the construction of the arena outside of Big Sandy. He was always on hand to work at any of the Saddle Club events. He didn’t always participate in the events, but was a willing worker in the background. He was an unvoluntary 4-H leader as his kids got involved with 4-H and needed some guidance on their projects. His pickup was his office, with receipts and tools on the dash and was always well stocked with licorice, cinnamon bears and Planters peanuts. The grandkids raided grampa’s goodie stash every time they rode with him or got sent to the pickup for something grampa needed. In later years, Ellsworth sold and maintained water distillers so area people could drink the water available on their own farm. This was not a business for him but rather an excuse to go visit. Ellsworth’s health necessitated his final move into the Big Sandy Medical Center in December 2002. He didn’t always visit much with us after his move, but his passion for flying could still spark a conversation. About a half hour before he died, one of the kids said to him, "Dad, maybe today is a good time to pick out your plane and fly on out of here." He must have thought so, too. Ellsworth was preceded in death by his parents Arthur and Vioka Butler, and his grandson Travis Pegar, who was born on Ellsworth’s 49th birthday. He is survived by wife, Lois Butler; sons and daughters, Ron (Bonnie) and Vance (Jean) Butler, and daughters, Linell (Randy) Pegar, all of Big Sandy, Mont. And Barbie (Jeff) Herzog of Fort Benton, Mont.; 13 grandchildren, nine greatgrandchildren and a sister, Leatrice (Lawrence) Faber of Chinook, Mont.; and nieces and nephews.