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Funeral Services for Holly, Colorado resident, Butch McCracken will be held at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly, CO on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at 10am with Pastor Kathy Leathers officiating. Interment with Masonic Rites will follow at the Holly Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Friday, February 9, 2024 from 4pm until 7pm at the funeral home.
John “Butch” Charles McCracken was born June 28, 1939 in a farm house in Mutual, Oklahoma. He was called from labor and laid down his work tools on February 2, 2024 at St. Catherine’s Hospital in Garden City, Kansas.
His parents, Verner and Lucile, moved to Holly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1942, where Verner helped build Camp Amache. Butch completed his first and second grades in a small, one room schoolhouse south of Holly called the Web school before attending Shanner Elementary. In high school he was on the 1955 State Championship football team. Butch graduated from Holly Jr./Sr. High School in 1957. He then furthered his education by attending Colorado State University and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in agriculture in the spring of 1961.
Butch found love with Kathryn Kilgore of Syracuse. Even though he was two hours late for their first date, they were united in marriage on August 21, 1960, a marriage that lasted 63 years. By the way, Kathy proposed to Butch. After graduating college, he and Kathy moved back to take over the family farm south of Holly. They built a wonderful life raising 4 children. While enduring many early mornings, long nights, irrigation wells, wheat farming, and school activities, all of this led to many wonderful memories and life experiences. After 32 years of living and working on the farm, they built a home in 1992 in Holly where they presently live. They retired from farming in 2006.
Of all of Butch’s accomplishments, he would want to be remembered for his membership in the Masonic Fraternity. He was initiated as an Entered Apprentice in October 1961, Passed to a Fellow Craft – December 1961, and Raised to a Master Mason – January 1962. He was Master of Eastgate Lodge #113 many times. He started his journey in the Colorado Grand Lodge in the early 80’s. He ascended to Grand Master of Colorado in 1986.
He took great pride in chairing the state Masonic Scholarship committee for many years. The committee awarded full scholarships to deserving individuals so they could pursue their college education. Along with his father, he was a Scottish Rite Mason and was appointed a 33rd degree. In addition, he was an active member in the Al Kaly Shriners. Butch served many years on the Southeast Colorado Power and Southeast Colorado CO-OP Boards.
Butch and Kathy were active with the Sagebrush Sam’s Camping Club. They found joy in camping and traveling across many states with family and friends. For many years they spent their winters in Port Aransas, TX and Arizona. Recently they bought a home in Apache Junction, Arizona. Butch and Kathy enjoyed many winters together on the college campus for senior citizens.
Butch is preceded in death by his parents, Verner and Lucile and his brother-in-law, Jim Akers. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Kathy and their 4 children, Denice (Dale) Seufer of Holly, CO and their two children, Chelsey (Scott) Moore of Van Alstyne, Texas and Brandon (Whitney) Seufer of Holly, CO; Steven (Dianne) McCracken of Fleming, CO and their two children, Shianne (Anthony) Megel of Cresson, TX and Shelby (Ashley) McCracken of Lipan, TX; Kevin (Rene) McCracken of Syracuse, KS and their three children, Cory (Kim) McCracken of Derby, KS, Heidi (Blake) Mackey of Sharon Springs, KS, and Zach (Susie) McCracken of Piper, KS; Kenneth (Julie) McCracken of Liberty Hill, TX and their daughter, Jessica of Liberty Hill, TX; 17 great grandchildren; sister, Shirley (Bob) Chavez of Glennwood, CO and their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Delores Akers of Overland Park, KS and her two children and grandchildren; many other relatives and a host of friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to Holly Fire and Ambulance or Holly Methodist Church in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, CO 81052.