Jess (Jay) Butcher

March 19, 2013

By Contributor

Jess Jack John (Jay) Butcher, of New Auburn, Wis., and formerly of Issaquah, died in his sleep of a heart attack early Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at the age of 70.

Jess was born Jan. 1, 1943 in Chicago, the first son of Jack R. and Bette M. (Potter) Butcher. Jay was an avid outdoorsman who wanted nothing more than to head out on the next big hunt. He spent hisyouth on Tiger Mountain in Issaquah, and moved to New Auburn in 1959.

Jess (Jay) Butcher

Jess (Jay) Butcher

After graduating from New Auburn High School in 1961, he attended Barron County Teacher’s College. Jay went on to join the Army, which took him to Fairbanks, Alaska. He worked in construction in the 1970s, and designed and built his own house in North Pole, Alaska. In 1981, Jay moved with his family to Clinton, Wash., which Jay considered to be the most beautiful place on earth.

He later divorced and moved to Ellensburg, where he again designed and built his home. He spent much of his time pursuing outdoor adventures and particularly loved turkey hunting. In 2000, Jay returned to New Auburn, Wis., where he lived until he passed away. Jay was a man who found great value in things others had discarded.

To his friends, he was a kind and gentle soul — always willing to help out any way he could. Jay had a great affinity for plants, animals and birds — he was able to propagate any plant from a single cutting. Jay was a truly unique, one of a kind person who treasured his books and dictionaries equally with his guns and hunting gear. He was a great storyteller and letter writer — his stories will be missed by all.

He is survived by his brothers Robert J. Butcher and Jerry Butcher; a sister, Betty (Butcher) Benjamin; adoptive family the Skaws, of New Auburn, Wis.: Kathryn Skaw, Barbara and Dave Teslaw, Beverly and Greg Martin, Jack and Emilia Skaw, Judy Skaw, David and Nancy Skaw; two sons, Gregory R. Butcher and Mark J. Butcher; a daughter, Jennifer L. Butcher; two grandsons; three granddaughters; and one great-granddaughter.

According to Jay’s wishes, no funeral services were held. A celebration of his life will be announced.

The Cremation Society of Wisconsin is serving the family. Online condolences may be left at

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