John R. Butterfield, 78


Service of Remembrance for Coach John R. Butterfield, 78 of Lodgepole, SD will be Monday, May 21, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at the Roberts-Rienke Auditorium and Gym at the Hettinger School.  Ted Uecker III will be Master of Ceremonies.  Following the service there will be a time of reception and fellowship at the gym.  Burial of John’s ashes will follow at the Lodgepole Cemetery.

     Coach Butterfield passed away peacefully at his home north of Lodgepole on May 15, 2018.

     He will be greatly missed by his family and all of his students and athletes.

     John Roger Butterfield was born on April 17th, 1940 to Myron and Dora Butterfield at the ranch in Lodgepole, South Dakota. He passed away in his sleep on May 15th, 2018 after a perfect day on the very same ranch. John battled courageously with cancer for over 2 years but never lost the joy for life that affected so many people.

     John attended grade school at Lodgepole Country School until he attended Hettinger High School. John was an all-star athlete in Hettinger, receiving four-year letters in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He was a part of the 1957 Hettinger State B High School Basketball championship team. He was also selected to be one of 12 members of the All-American High School Basketball Team representing the West. He continued on to attend college at University of Minnesota, University of North Dakota, and finished his degree in Biological Science, Psychology, and Physical Education at Dickinson State University where he met his wife Byrdee (DeFoe) Butterfield.

     He married Byrdee on August 10th, 1963 and started his career of teaching and coaching in 1965 in Drayton, North Dakota which continued to Dickinson Trinity, Hettinger, Bison, Lemmon, Harding County, and Mott-Regent with stops along the way to be a self-employed rancher on the Butterfield family homestead. John always gravitated back into coaching and teaching because of his love for working with young people and watching them grow into accomplished adults. He had multiple successes as a coach including several trips to the state tournament in both North and South Dakota. The highest honor was the Class B boys basketball state championship in 1983 with the Hettinger Black Devils.

     After retiring from full-time teaching and coaching in 2012, John spent his time substitute teaching, working on the ranch, and continued to make huge impacts on his family and friends. John always lived life to fullest and was a devoted husband, dad, grandpa, and friend all in one. Everyone who came in contact with him knows how much he enjoyed telling stories and encouraging others with his compassionate gentle heart. John lived a life to celebrate greeting each day with arms wide open and although he is gone, his impact lives on.

     John was preceded in death by his parents Myron Sr. and Dora Butterfield and brother Myron Jr. and sisters Cleo and Kaye.

     He is survived by his wife Byrdee, his son Bill Butterfield, his wife Jean (Berger) Butterfield, and their children Haley and Brendan: His daughter Pam (Butterfield) Kiser, her husband Todd Kiser, and their children Alex and Anna: His daughter Kari (Butterfield) Emineth, her husband Richard Emineth, and their children Sydney, Zoe, and Eric: His brother-in-law and sister-in-law Chuck and Jan DeFoe: His sister-in-law Lola (DeFoe) Thomas: and his brother-in-law Donald Hilde.  Condolences to John’s family can be sent through our website at