We lost Butch suddenly this week. Know that he died peacefully in his sleep. Butch was born in Chicago in 1958 to his mother Lori Leaper and father Richard Hanson, who are now deceased. The family moved to Fox Lake when Butch was around two years old, and Butch lived the rest of his life in this area. Both of his parents remarried, father Richard to Regina Hanson and mother Lori to Tom Leaper, who is also deceased. Butch is survived by his step-mother Regina Hanson; his children Lisa Russo and Brian Russo and their families and mother Maureen O’Brien; his siblings Lynn Johnson (and husband Scott), Rich Schulz (and wife Carrie and family), Tom Leaper Jr. (and partner Carol and family), Bunny Baczynski and family, and Gerry Schulz (and wife Gretchen and family); nieces and nephews including Nina and Alex Schulz, Christiana Behm, Tommy Leaper III and Brian King and their families; and friends including Larry Weideman and Toma Lee Blowers among many others. Having lived in the Fox Lake area for so long, Butch was well-known around the community and among Grant High School graduates. He played football, hockey and other sports as a boy. He loved riding his bike and many outdoor adventures growing up. And he loved playing chess with Uncle Bob and wrote endearing letters to this uncle throughout his childhood and teens (in which he wrote about “spying on the girls again with Tommy (Leaper),” escapades with his life-long friend Larry, where he rode his bike and how he crashed - sometimes with hand-drawn maps of his routes, how he had fourteen fish in the freezer and what types of fish, bowling and fishing with dad, how school was “okay but it gets boring sometimes,” how he got in “lots of trouble for sassing my mom, and then I stepped on a peach and smashed it all over the carpet,” and how much he would have to pay for car insurance when he got his first car!). He would also send drawings, usually of bucks and fish and trees. He once sat in a tree all day with a milk crate trying to catch a chipmunk, and was (eventually) successful. Butch was a sportsman who absolutely loved the outdoors, especially some of the wild areas in Canada where he went fishing with his dad, grandpa Dick, brother Rich and other family as well as local areas where he went hunting with Tom, his step-father for many years. We all know Butch was a very hard worker, a Teamster’s member, a craftsman, a cook of sorts (spicy), and a man with an endless sense of humor who could tell you a thousand jokes. His smiles may have been hard to catch but his laugh was hearty. You may know he was a big softie, despite his outwardly tough and stoic appearance. He loved deeply, more than perhaps we knew. He loved dogs beyond belief. He often expressed sadness at the loss of many friends in the Fox Lake area, including too many men who passed at young ages. He was very sensitive but didn’t want people to know that. Most of us knew anyway! Hold him gently in your heart. He truly loved you. Butch was cremated. A gathering to celebrate Butch will be held in Fox Lake in the future, perhaps in the spring if public health concerns improve. Please share condolences as well as any memories or photos here on this webpage, or send to his sister Lynn (Hanson) Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org, 6935 N. Jersey St, Portland, OR, 97203, 503-806-7883. Thank you for loving Butch!
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