Southern Illinois remembers Bob Butler - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois remembers Bob Butler

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MARION (WSIL) -- Southern Illinois legislators and community leaders are sharing their memories of former Marion Mayor Bob Butler. Butler passed away Monday at the age of 92. 

Marion Mayor Anthony Rinella:
"He was smart but not afraid to take a risk either. If he thought 'This could help Marion,' he was going to figure out a way to do it." 

Mike Pinto, Manager of Southern Illinois Miners
"He was such a visionary. He saw Marion for what it could be and what it could continue to be, and without his vision, I don't know if Marion would be what it is today."

Carbondale Mayor John "Mike" Henry:
“On behalf of the City of Carbondale, I offer my condolences to the family of Bob Butler. He was well known and highly respected in the state capitol and was truly an icon of southern Illinois. Mayor Butler was honest, straight forward, dedicated and hard working. We will miss him.”

Marion Mayor-elect Mike Absher:
It is with great sadness that we reflect on the passing of Mayor Emeritus Robert "Bob" Butler. Mayor Butler built Marion into the "Hub" we know it as today. Through tragedies and triumphs, he was the driving force behind the growth and prosperity our city enjoys today. While I embark on this journey, the legacy that Mayor Butler created will live on into eternity.

Please join me in praying for Mayor Butler's wife Louetta, and their family, in this time of loss. While we mourn of his passing, we celebrate the signature he left on our great city.

Rep. Mike Bost (R - IL 12th District)
"The mayor was always loyal to his hometown, but he was loyal to southern Illinois as well. The reality is he served southern Illinois well. He had a long life, he had a very productive life and watched Marion grow to the level it is today."

State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton):
“Mayor Butler was Marion’s Mayor for a record 54 years and 9 months. That is an astounding number, especially in today’s ever-changing political world. Mayor Butler, for over five decades, stood up for Southern Illinois with a spine of steel and successfully navigated Democrat and Republican leadership in Springfield to get the most he could for the city. The people of Southern Illinois are better off, every day, because of his service and dedication, and because of the results he was able to achieve.”

Brent Gentry, Williamson County Commissioner
"Nobody can say Bob Butler did not take Marion to heart and was doing the right thing for Marion. He lived, ate and drank Marion."

Alice Rix, Marion City Clerk 
"For whatever reason, Mayor Butler is just someone I thought would always be around and you could always go to for answers." 

Brad Cole, Executive Director of the Illinois Municipal League, former Carbondale Mayor (2003-2011)
"Mayor Butler was a very strong advocate for Marion and southern Illinois throughout his years in office. He was certainly a great friend to me personally and professionally. He provided a lot of guidance when I was in office as mayor. He leaves a great legacy and certainly a long history of accomplishments for the people of Marion to celebrate."

West Frankfort Mayor Tom Jordan:
"He was the consummate mayor. If you looked up mayor in the dictionary, his picture would probably be there."

State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro):
"To say Mayor Butler was a giant in the world of Southern Illinois politics would be an understatement. Bob Butler, or just 'Mayor', as so many fellow Southern Illinoisans knew him, was a tenacious and dedicated public servant. He gave so much of his life to bettering Marion, and because of his hard working during more than 50 years of service, the entire region is better off. My thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to the people of Marion, and most especially to Mayor Butler's friends and family on his passing today."

State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis):
"Mayor Butler epitomizes the word public servant. He gave more than 54 years of dedicated service to the city of Marion and to the people he represented. Despite the fact that he was growing in age, the world around us changed dramatically during the time Mayor Butler was in office. But, Mayor Butler maintained an incredible level of energy well into his 80s and early 90s. His ability to implement new strategies, and adapt to technological to try to build a better city of Marion is part of the reason the city is an economic driver in the region. Today, Southern Illinois has lost a friend, a neighbor and dedicated public servant. I wish the very best to Mayor Butler's family and to the people of the city of Marion on this day of reflection and celebration of Mayor Butler's life and contributions."

John Goss, former Marion city commissioner
"He called it like it was and what was best for the city. That's what Bob did, and that's what I tried to follow when I was here. Bob planned all this. This didn't just happen, the city just didn't happen. It's because he visualized some things to do, and he got it done."

State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg):
"I was saddened to learn about the passing of beloved former-Marion Mayor Bob Butler. He was a man passionate about his community and dedicated to his position. Anyone who met Bob knows what a great and caring man he was, and words cannot begin to express what a loss this is for our community. He was a good friend of mine, who served as a mentor during my career. I will miss him deeply. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this sad time."

Dick Deitz, Mayor of McLeansboro (elected in 1993):
As a new mayor in '93 attending my first Southern Illinois Mayors Association meeting, Mayor Bob Butler was the first person to introduce himself to me. As a young mayor, I found that very helpful and always appreciated it. It was indicative of the kind of mayor Bob Butler was. He was always helpful and I considered him a good friend, and a big loss to the southern Illinois community. My wife and I send our prayers to the Butler family.

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