Virgil W. Butts

Virgil W. Butts, 83, passed from this earth on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at his home after several years of surgeries and health problems.

A lifetime Clay Countian, he was born to Arthur Lloyd Butts and Verna Catherine Dierdorff Butts at the family dairy farm on May 29, 1932. He learned the work ethic at a young age and carried it on throughout his life. He had many talents including auto mechanics, as well as salesmanship.

He graduated from Staunton High School with the class of 1950. In December 1952, he was inducted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was placed in the 10th Medical Training Battalion, Company D stationed at Camp Pickett, Va. After basic training, he was sent to Anchorage, Alaska and placed as Sargent of the Motor Pool at Ft Richardson. In December 1954 he received an honorable discharge.

In August 1955, he married his sweetheart, Mary Jo Roberts of Vigo County and they located in Brazil. During the next five years, they produced three lively children.

In 1960, Virgil became an entrepreneur in Brazil owning the local Dodge dealership. At age 27, he was the youngest Dodge dealer in the United States. As Butts Enterprises grew, he sold Wheelhorse tractors, Deutz tractors, New Holland farm equipment, and Bobcat skid loaders.

In 1967, he became a licensed real estate broker, and in 1969 he was licensed as an auctioneer. These two professions became his passion. He was active in both the Indiana Auctioneers Association and the National Auctioneers Association where he was honored and respected. In accordance with the license law, he took many CE classes and attended many seminars. In February of 2016, he received his auction license that do not expire until 2020. Through the years, Mary Jo worked as his bookkeeper, secretary, clerk and cashier. They considered themselves a team.

He served as IAA president in 1984 and served in other capacities and received many commendations including the 1989 Hall of Fame award. Virgil also was active in the NAA where he served as a director for several years. He was a presenter in many workshops and seminars in both state and national organizations. In July 2001, he was inducted into the NAA Hall of Fame.

Not being a person to sit back and let someone else do the work, he has always been involved in Clay community affairs volunteering his time and equipment when needed. A special time for him was when the Leathers playground was built at Forest Park. He has served as president of the Clay Community Parks board for several terms, and remained on the board at the time of his death. In June of 2001, he was the recipient of the Daniel Harris Award which was awarded at the Focus Award Banquet.

Virgil was a member of the Brazil Rotary club for 56-plus years and was active in attendance as well as work. He is a past president and chaired many committees through the years. Several decades ago he was honored with the Paul Harris Award.

Virgil never let his career interfere with his church or family life. He has always sought the Lord first in life. In 1970, the family became members of Berea Christian Church. He was an elder for 26 years, and also chaired and worked on the Building and Grounds committee as long as his health permitted.

His genuine friendliness and ready smile has always been quite evident to his family and many friends. He liked a happy home where there was lots of laughter and kidding. But he also believed in discipline and his kids knew that. He has been a great husband, father, son, brother and friend, and will be missed by many.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Lloyd and Verna; his father-in-law, Everett Roberts, his brother-in-law, Hubert Fagg and his sister-in-law, Monique Roberts.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years,, Mary Jo; his son, Jerry (Elizabeth) Butts, daughters, Debi Sullivan and special friend Dale Bohnenkemper; and Susan (Bob Sr.) Treash; brother, Bill; sisters, Louise Fagg and Mary (Steve) Youtz, grandchildren, Shawna Perez; Justin Barrett; Michael (Gabriella) Sullivan; Jordan (Kyle) Thompson; Tyler (Emily) Butts; Haylee (Chris) Nelson; and great grandchildren Kendall; Grady; Matthew; Reagan; Zoee; Liam; Benjamin; Nolan; and Addison.

A Celebration of his life will be held Saturday at 2:00 at the Lawson-Miller Chapel with Pastor Tom Hess officiating. Burial will follow at Clearview Cemetery, with military graveside honors. Visitation will be Friday from 4-8 pm at the funeral home and again Saturday one hour prior to services. In lieu of flowers donations may directed to the Berea Church 1995 W. Co. Rd. 800N, Brazil, IN. 47834.