My father, William F. Butherus, brought up two boys and a girl in Morgantown, Indiana with a population under 1,000. Everybody knew everybody and my dad being an ex-NFL football player made a great living selling class rings to schools all over Indiana. I knew he was the best because at a award banquet with Intercollegiate Press, he was presented an award for reaching one million dollars in sales at 40 years old. Twenty years sooner than anyone had ever done. I bring this up because for dad to achieve this he was on the road 5-6 days a week.
When Sunday came I knew he would be sleeping in his bed when I got up and I would get the sports page out and get dad’s black book and under line the sports teams he had bet on. When he was ready I would bring out my back scratcher and go to work making sure he was complete relaxed.
When summer would come, dad would be home more and he taught all of us kids multiple card games. This was part of our lives. As a early teenager I found out that I was adopted. My older brother said they were coming back to get me. It was the worst day of my life.
What did dad do? He told me that I was so special that he had to have me in his life and then I realized that I was adopted by Santa Claus.
In January of 1970 we moved to Punta Gorda, Florida where I finished high school at Charlotte High. Dad went from selling class rings to jewelry to jewelry stores out of his trunk. After I married in 1980 our family remained close to mom & dad.
As a freshman my last year in Indiana going to Indian Creek High School I played baseball, basketball, and football to make my daddy proud. I was not big for my age but I would never give up. Sometimes when I tackled a guy it would hurt so much I would cry but always wipe them off before seeing dad after the games. Dad didn’t care how good I was. He was always the first to brag about something good I had did on the field.
As we grew older dad taught my sons cards at a early age and the tradition was passed on. Dad’s last few years in and out of nursing homes I would come by every evening to play cards. Of course I would sneak food in that dad liked and soon I was feeding half of the rooms close to dads.
The last time I saw dad alive was after we played cards I got a call at 5:00 am that he had died in his sleep. I lost my best friend forever.
Every year when father’s day comes around I shed tears for my loss but I also know no one on earth could have been blessed more then I.
I have been married to Dee for 37 years and I have two beautiful sons and a beautiful grandson, Cannon. I still have dreams playing cards with Pop and my sons but now we have Cannon playing also.
People sometimes lose someone and then they say I should have told them how much I loved them. With me I never left Pop or my sons without telling them I love them more than life itself.
Happy Fathers Day, POP.