John Leonard Butcher

April 28, 1954 ~ December 12, 2023 (age 69) 69 Years Old

John Butcher Obituary

 John Leonard Butcher passed away Tuesday, December 12, 2023, at his home in Holstein, Iowa with his sons by his side. A visitation will take place on Friday, December 15, 2023 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Nicklas D. Jensen Funeral Home in Holstein, Iowa. A celebration of life will be held in January at the Holstein Country Club with more details to be announced at a later time. 

John Butcher was born on April 28, 1954 in Cherokee, Iowa, to Eldon and Marian (Smith) Butcher. He grew up in Holstein, Iowa where he attended all of his schooling, graduating in 1972.

As a young man, John had a love for muscle cars. He had a Ford Fairline GT, a Mustang, and a Barracuda which he later traded in for a Toronado once he became a father. His friends and family enjoy hearing and telling stories about his cars, and especially the shenanigans associated with each one. 

After high school John married Helen Nicholds. They had three boys, the pride and joy of their lives, Michael, Aaron, and Ian. While the boys were growing up, John enjoyed watching them do what they love, especially traveling to wrestling meets and football games. In addition to the teams his boys played on, he was a supporter of two particular teams: the Iowa Hawkeyes and Dallas Cowboys. As Ian (an Eagles fan) says, nobody is perfect.

John began his career working for Brummer Construction and then the Williams Boys before going out on his own and starting Butcher Construction in the mid-80s. He shared his carpentry skills with his boys, taking them along to job sites. At some point in their young adulthood, they all worked with him. He was incredibly talented and his boys are grateful for everything he taught them. (And so are their wives.)

John Butcher loved his hometown of Holstein, Iowa. He served on the Holstein Fire Department for 20 years. In 1995 he moved to the family farm and was recognized by Ida County for his work on the beautiful grove. John hosted some epic bonfire parties out there. He worked on many homes in and around Holstein over the years, and during his final years he lived in a home that he helped build for a family in the 80s - he was very proud of that. John made many friends, and in an amazing small town, those friends become family. He and his boys are so thankful for this community. 

After he retired in 2020, he took random road trips and tested his luck at the casinos with his best friend, Scott Albers. You can ask Scott about who typically had the better luck.

‘Papa John’ treasured his role as grandpa with the arrival of Ethan (Aaron) in 2005, then Logan (Ian) in 2017. When Michael married Jenny in 2019, he became instant grandfather to Annie, Drew, and Beau. They affectionately tweaked his title to ‘Papa Juan’ during the wedding in the Dominican Republic which he lovingly embraced and even signed his cards “Love, Papa Juan.” His hugs and attention will forever be missed by all of these grandkids. 

John is survived by his sons: Michael (Jenny) Butcher of Ames, Iowa, and Ian (Amy) Butcher of Des Moines, Iowa; daughter-in-law, Ashley Butcher, Polk City, Iowa; stepsons, Tony (Molly and daughter, Margaret) Fiddelke of Des Moines, Iowa;, and Chris (Annasha and kids, Isaac and Isabelle) Fiddelke; brother: Donald Butcher of LeMars, Iowa; grandchildren: Ethan Butcher; Logan Butcher; Annie, Drew, and Beau Peterson. He is also survived by beloved nieces, nephews, and close friends. 

He was preceded in death by his son, Aaron Butcher; parents, Eldon Butcher, and Marian and Flip Grothaus; brother, Harold Butcher; and sisters-in-law, Glenda Butcher and Donna Butcher.

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December 15, 2023

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Nicklas D. Jensen Funeral Home
1600 S. Kiel St.
Holstein, Iowa 51025


Holstein Cemetery

Holstein, Iowa 51025


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