HAMILTON — Joseph Michael Butsick passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, at the age of 86, in his home in Hamilton. He was born in Plymouth, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 16, 1933, to the late Michael and Stella Durachausky Butsick of Luzerne, Pennsylvania.
Joe was raised in Edwardsville, Pennsylvania, where he cultivated his green thumb working on a farm from the age of 14. Later in life he mentioned he really wanted to be a cowboy. After graduating from Edwardsville High School, Joseph entered the U.S. Air Force. After one enlistment he left service and spent a good portion of his life in Pennsylvania where he married, raised his children and worked at everything from oiling cranes to driving 200-ton dump trucks for the coal mining industry. Eventually he settled into a career as a nurses aid for a state hospital.
Joe was an accomplished gardener who could make anything bloom. He loved animals - cats, dogs, even fish — but especially his cat, Milo, a giant Maine Coon that was to be his final companion. Joseph loved hiking, walking in the woods, camping — anything that was outdoors. Later, Joe took to RV-ing as he followed his eldest son around the west before finally settling down in Mullan, Idaho, for 18 years. Most of all, Joe enjoyed fishing, and until his mid-70s could be found fishing Idaho and Montana’s sacred waters.
In his younger days he could wear out a dance floor, floating effortlessly to a waltz or wearing his partner to exhaustion during a polka.
As Joe’s legs gave way to age he enjoyed vintage films, including the silent and modern “talkies” as he so often named them. He never sang much but loved listening to everything from country to opera, Celtic to orchestral, classical to oldies.
While Joe never picked up a golf club he could give you any stat on any player, man or woman and he’d been to every golf course and every major tournament around the world from his lounge chair.
Joseph is survived by his children, Joseph Butsick, of Corvallis; Gale Cooney, of Scranton, Pennsylvania; Denise Burd, of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania; Michael Butsick, of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania; Lisa Jones, of Hunlock Creek, Pennsylvania; Kimberly Gleco, of Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania; Daniel Butsick, of Post Falls, Idaho; and Matthew Butsick, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Joseph leaves behind 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
A private family service will be held near Mullan, Idaho, where he spent the majority of his life in the west. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com.