Celebrating A Life Well Lived
Elinor Marie Butz
March 1, 1926 - April 9, 2022
Elinor “Ellie” Butz lived out her 96 years to the absolute fullest with an undeniable zest for life. She was energetic and stylish until the end, often wearing bright colored clothes and earrings that matched her sunny, happy personality. She loved playing cards and backgammon, dancing, animals, candy bars and being around friends and family.
Ellie was born on March 1, 1926 in Chisholm, Minnesota, the sixth of seven children of John and Barbara Sachen, two European immigrants who settled in northern Minnesota for work in the iron mines. As a child, Ellie loved artwork and sports, especially figure skating. She continued that passion in later years by making backyard ice skating rinks for her own children in Wisconsin. Even as an adult, Ellie could pirouette on ice to the point that her face was a blur.
After graduating from high school, Ellie and her sister Pat moved to Milwaukee to find work and experience the world. They hung out near Marquette University where the student body at the time was predominantly male. Ellie met the love of her life, Francis Butz, at a lunch counter when Fran and his fraternity buddies introduced themselves. Fran commented later that Ellie seemed the more congenial and less “feisty” of the two sisters, which in his view made Ellie a better match. Ellie and Fran married in 1950 in Milwaukee and eventually had six children over a span of 17 years, born in several cities around Wisconsin. Ellie never worked outside the home, but took great pride in “the hardest job in the world” of raising children and caring for her family.
Ellie had a joyous 65 years of marriage to Fran (deceased in 2015). They lived out their golden years in Cocoa Beach, and later Cape Canaveral, FL where they enjoyed dancing, games, and never-ending visits from family and friends. She cherished her many friends at Solana Lake Condominiums. Ellie enjoyed cooking and baking and passed on family recipes for pasties and apple strudel to her children. She also loved decorating and dressing up for special occasions. Ellie was thrilled to be a 95 year-old flower girl at the wedding of her dear friends Cathy and Mark. She oozed with positive energy and stayed physically active with swimming, water aerobics and regular walks. Her favorite sayings were “you gotta keep moving” and “I’m still perpendicular.” Ellie was loving, kind, nurturing and always willing to help others. She laughed easily. Ellie was laughing while playing backgammon with grandchildren earlier in the week of her passing.
Ellie’s greatest accomplishment was her family. She is survived by her six children, Susan Butz-Cook (Fred), David Butz (Terry), Connie Sillars (Alan), Daniel Butz, John Butz, and Patti Polster, along with 11 grandchildren: Jessica, Elizabeth, Josh, Jody, Tara, Kyle, Jennifer, Alex, Maiori, Tay and Lena; and 9 great-grandchildren: Clara, Jackson, Madison, Brooklynne, Savannah, Alix, Jax, Kai, and Micah.
A special thanks to the staff at Hospice of Health First and Mary Lou Robinson for making Ellie’s last days comfortable and peaceful. Beckman-Williamson Funeral Home is assisting the family.