Donald Butts, 91, longtime resident of Bigfork, passed away Thursday, May 9, 2019, at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Donald was born in Plainview, Nebraska, in 1927 to Alvin and Ester Butts, the second of nine children.
He married Phyllis Mellott in 1946. Together they had three daughters, losing their first baby to illness at 6 weeks of age. Don spent his early years cowboying on a ranch in Wyoming. Then he started a water truck business in the oil fields of Wyoming. In 1961 Don moved his family to Montana where he owned and operated a dump truck, building highways across the state for 10 years. He then bought a semi and, with Phyllis as his co-pilot, they hauled loads across the United States.
Retirement brought much needed time to fish, camp and spend sunny days down south in the winters. Don and Phyl enjoyed exploring the desert, dry washing for gold, and playing cards with friends.
Don was a great story teller and loved a good joke. He was generous and kind to all.
He was preceded in death by one daughter, his parents, four brothers, one sister and his beloved wife of 66 years.
He is survived by his two daughters, Karen Eddy (Jack) of Petersburg, Alaska, and Leta Quinn (Mike) of Bigfork; five grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren; three sisters, and many nieces and nephews.
Don was greatly loved and will be missed by all.
No services are planned at this time.