Wilbur “Butch” Marks Jr., 75, of Pleasant Prairie, slid through the stargate in a totally worn out, used up body on January 20, 2024, at Brookside Care Center in Kenosha proclaiming the infamous line “WOW” what a wild ride…….”
He used to proudly proclaim he was not born in one of the 50 states but rather the District of Colombia (Washington DC) on March 31, 1948, to Wilbur and Arlene (Hall) Marks, Sr. He was educated in the schools of Lake Forest, Illinois. Butch left high school to join the United States Air Force serving from October of 1966 until his honorable discharge in 1972. In Vietnam he flew combat search and rescue missions in the Jolly Green Giant Sikorsky HH-3E helicopter with the craziness of water skiing from it on the Mekong River Delta. He survived his helicopter being destroyed behind enemy lines and was missing in action over 100 days, eventually working his way back to the delta. It was his service in SE Asia that exposed him to Agent Orange which would become his worst health enemy.
Butch met Louise in 2005 through a mutual friend, and they were married in Las Vegas in 2007. His most memorable first moments with Louise were her dachshunds, Baby Bear, who owned a riding lawn tractor and let Butch borrow his wheels while they mowed the lawn together and Elliott who insisted he needed fielding practice until Butch’s arm fell off. He was also quite fond of his newfound family of turtles and learning how to care for Sidney, the Golden Girls and their babies, and Bonnie and Tank the 70-year-old red foot tortoise pair.
He held many jobs over his lifetime, including limousine driver, during which time he had the privilege of having Marlo Thomas as a client in Chicago. He was also a long haul trucker for GG Barnett out of Beaver Dam driving Florida or California runs.
When Butch was not busy with work, he enjoyed spending time with Louise and the Kenosha HOG Chapter riding motorcycles, as well as hunting at the “shack” in Coloma with Todd his next-door neighbor. You could also catch him cat fishing out in Wilmot on the river. He was an avid sci-fi and horror movie buff and loved reading Clive Cussler novels. He was a junk food junkie relishing truck stop food, Cheetos, potato chips and donuts. These got him into trouble. He loved the Chicago Bears for which the Brookside Nursing staff fondly dressed him in a Green Bay Packers sweatshirt during the Packer/Bear games. We really believe it was a get even tactic for irritating the nurses at night when his Parkinson’s sundowner syndrome took over and he would rearrange the room at 2am. It was those same nurses that caringly called the game on his failing health and got him to the ER, only to discover he had stage 4 metastatic liver cancer with less than a week to live.
Butch is survived by his wife, Louise; three children, Barbara, Christopher and Alexander and his favorite baby sister, Deborah who loved beating him up; He is also survived by the pack…his favorite dog Chief Samuel “SAM” Red Cloud, Lady, Meatball, Neo and Pepper as well as family and many friends.
In addition to his parents, a brother, Robert, preceded him in death.
A special thank you to our medical teams, who managed to keep Butch glued together: Dr. Lenny Montemurro our fabulous project manager who stood by his side throughout the entire journey, Dr. Anthony Montemurro (Italian Toe Bro) who kept him from losing his legs, Dr. Brittany Legg, and Dr. Benjamin LaSee. Thanks also goes to the nurses and staff at Brookside for taking good care of him and making him laugh.
Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Cry for Help Rescue in Homer Glen, Illinois, the Wisconsin Humane Society or Parkinson’s research https://www.apdaparkinson.org/community/wisconsin/