H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

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John Butler

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John Butler

January 26, 1952 - May 10, 2022


John Robert Butler, formerly from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, passed away at the age of 70 at his home in Cowichan Bay, BC, on May 10, 2022, from leukemia.

John was born on January 26, 1952, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He often commented that he had an ideal childhood which he credits to his loving parents, siblings, extended family, and friends. Formative summers spent at the beach with family or afternoons exploring local coulees with friends were among the many early foundations for a lifelong enjoyment of adventures and new experiences.

John graduated from Central Collegiate, in Moose Jaw, and then attended the University of Saskatchewan where he earned an Arts and Science Degree along with a four year Education Degree. After teaching in Wynyard, for one year, he returned to Saskatoon where he taught for over three decades. He had a remarkable passion for teaching young people, both in the classroom and on the football field. Generous with his wisdom, humour, compassion, and energy, he was able to reach students through an innovative curriculum to inspire the mind and nourish the individual. In 1997, John was proud to be awarded the Inspired Teacher Award from the University of Regina, College of Education.

In 1983, John married Chris (Warkentin). Being a caring, engaged, and supportive husband and father was his most valued calling. He delighted in coaching his children, taking camping trips, building treehouses, summer vacations, and watching all their activities. He was deeply proud of all his children. In recent years he found profound fulfillment in being a Grandpa, which brought him exceptional joy.

John had a passion for knowledge, was an avid reader, and a lifelong learner. With a gift for storytelling and a welcoming demeanor, conversation was always easy with topics ranging from politics (with his deep commitment to social justice), to sports, history, literature, and everything in between. A true renaissance man, he was a teacher, mentor, and learner who could be found fixing classic British sports cars, building award-winning model aircraft, playing baseball, trying out new recipes, and a myriad of other hobbies. Anyone who knew John was aware of his passion for music, which was a constant throughout his life, and provided deep comfort in his final days.

John created a lasting impact on his community, friends, and family. He is survived by his wife Chris, and their family: Jessica (Rob Ondzik) Butler, Michael (Magdelyn Asimakis) Butler and granddaughter Lola Butler, Katelyn (Scott) Gateley and grandsons Pierce and Noel Gateley. He is also survived by his brother David (Arlene) Butler and family, and sister Louise (Frank) Gyrlevich and family. He was predeceased by his parents Arthur ‘Art’ and Helena Butler, father-in-law Gerard Warkentin and sister-in-law Jean Warkentin.

In keeping with John’s wishes, there will be no funeral service. We ask that you think of John when you give someone a helping hand, have a good laugh with family and friends, or enjoy a peaceful moment with nature.  And, we ask you to take a moment to smile when you see a British sports car, notice a football practice at your neighbourhood school, or are listening to some ‘good’ 60s music. A donation to your favourite charity would be kindly appreciated.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

Pages: 123

From: H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Barbara Smith
Relation: Cousin

John, you will be missed. Blessings to your family and friends at this sad time.

From: Chris & Petroula Asimakis
Relation: Friends

Our sincere condolences to the family during this difficult time. John will be greatly missed.

From: Robert Svoboda
Relation: Saskatchewan British Car Club friend

Chris and family I am sorry to hear of your loss. I was lucky enough to have travelled with John on British Car Club trips to BC. His sense of humor always had me laughing. He will truly be missed by all.

From: Jamie Lackie
Relation: Basketball parent

Chris, Katie and family. I am sorry to hear of John’s passing. I appreciated his upbeat energy and humour during time shared in various gyms.

From: Susan Butler
Relation: He was my uncle

Phil and I send our love and condolences to Chris, Jessica, Michael and Katie. Uncle John will be missed. I always remember him as the cool uncle who made the long drive from Saskatoon to Moose Jaw every Christmas to share time with family and create cozy memories at Gramma Shorty’s house. A true hippie at heart, Uncle John exuded peace and happiness with his positive spirit. One of Phil and my favorite memories is seeing him during his cross country tour in the VW Van he lovingly and painstakingly refurbished. I bet he turned a lot of heads on highway in that work of art.
We will always think of him and smile.

From: Laurie Vawter (Wiebe)

I am so sorry for you loss Chris. I have so many fond memories of our time together at Nutana Collegiate. John will be missed!

From: Todd Seaborn
Relation: Student

I remember Mr Butler from MMGC and was easily the best teacher I ever had, I tell stories all of the time about him jumping up on a table and swinging around a metre stick while quoting Macbeth.

From: Kelly Bannister
Relation: Teacher

Mr.Butler was an awesome teacher when I attended Marion Graham in Saskatoon. Please see the FB post with others that felt the same.

From: Aileen Flaten
Relation: Neighbour

We are very sad to hear of John’s passing, and also surprised because he was a man who was so full of life. I remember how friendly he was and animated in his discussions. Many years ago on an evening in May we walked with our kids to Homestead for ice cream and along the way we met up with Butlers. We had a lively, fun time heading back together and John invited us to check out the work he was doing to rebuild his Triumph motorcycle. An impromptu visit that was special and memorable. I also remember how humble he was when he saved the life of the fellow who had the bike accident near QE school. He thought his actions were no different from what anyone else in that situation would have done. Our hearts go out to Chris, Katie, Michael and Jessica and their families.

Pages: 123

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

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