Edward H. “Butch” Beers passed away on February 11, 2019 after a long and fulfilling life. Born to Edward J. and Gretchen Beers on March 16, 1926, he was a lifetime resident of Beaver Dam. He was educated at St. Peter’s Catholic School and then later graduated from Beaver Dam High School, class of 1943. He played the tuba in the high school band and later played in the Beaver Dam American Legion marching band.
Butch enlisted in the U.S. Navy in the spring of 1944 and served his country well. He took part in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy in northern France in the Atlantic Ocean, and a year later fought in the Pacific Ocean at Okinawa, Japan. His ship, the destroyer Butler, shot down many Japanese suicide planes before she too was hit when returning to the U.S. when the war ended. Butch’s ship was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its bravery at Okinawa.
After leaving the naval service in 1946, Butch returned to Beaver Dam and married June Malak on October 14, 1950. He worked as a pattern-maker at the Beaver Dam Pattern Co., the Monarch Range Co., and also continued working at the Kirsch Foundry after Monarch’s closing.
His 35 year marriage to his wife June ended when she passed away on June 30, 1986. He later met Ethel Bark and was remarried on October 3, 1987. After retiring in 1988, he worked as a groundskeeper for many years at both the Brittany and Meadow View apartment complexes. He was very active in the city, coaching Little League Boys’ Baseball, participating in the Community Theatre, and delivering Meals on Wheels. Butch loved singing for both St. Peter’s and St. Patrick’s Catholic choirs and was past president of the Beaver Dam Oratorio Choir Society. He was very active in the Knights of Columbus and was a past Grand Knight and Chief Squire. He was a member of the National Legionnaires and the later combined Catholic parishes, St. Katharine Drexel. Butch loved to read novels and was a “sports nut,” faithfully following the Green Bay Packers, UW Badgers, Milwaukee Brewers (and Braves), and Milwaukee Bucks. Butch also played golf for many years and was a member of the Beaver Dam Country Club.
He was preceded in death by his first wife June (1986) and second wife Ethel (2008), his parents, sisters: Helen (Casey) Kronenberg, Marie (Ed) Nast and Jean (William) Pirk, brothers-in-law: Louis Hankes, Lester Welch, Edward Gerber, Jerry Butzler, and Alfred Malak, sisters-in-law: Geraldine Malak and Phyllis Malak (Kronenberg), parents-in-law John and Celia Malak, and step-grandson, Daniel Janquart.
Butch is survived by his son, Jeffrey (Sheila Felicijan) and granddaughters Roxanne and Rachel of Madison, sister, Marjorie Butzler of Fond du Lac, and sister-in-law: Connie Malak of Middleton. Also surviving are his step-daughters Sandy Janquart of Plymouth, Vickie (Gary) Lesuisse of Oxford MI, Jennie (Dale) Menne of Suamico, and Nancy (Jeff) Yaeger of Weston. Many nieces and nephews from both marriages survive as well as step-grandchildren David, Angela, Brent, Jason, Eric and Adam.
A visitation will be held at St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church in Beaver Dam on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 from 10 a.m. until 11:20 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at the church at 11:30 a.m. with Fr. Michael Erwin officiating. Inurnment will take place at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Beaver Dam.
Memorials may be directed to the Beaver Dam DAV.
The Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is caring for the family. To leave online condolences, or for directions and other information, please visit our website at www.KoepsellFH.com.