SIDNEY, NE — On May 11, 2021, the town of Sidney lost a local legend.
Butch Crooked Foot, a well known resident of the town, died at the age of 77. He was known in the community as a man who knew everyone and would strike up a conversation any time he had the chance.
Gary Person, a former city manager of Sidney, remembers Butch as a good friend and cherished the time that they were able to spend together.
"Over the years, he and I had a lot of great conversations," Person said. "He walked the town, he talked the town and never met a stranger. He was just a great guy and certainly a Sidney icon. Everybody loved Butch."
When Gary first arrived in Sidney as the newspaper editor, Butch was one of the first people he met.
"I met Butch early on when I first arrived in Sidney," Person said. "Of course, Butch is one of those guys that everybody in town knows. Over the years, he and I had a lot of great conversations. He was always interested in what was going on in the community and we were both big Husker fans, so we would talk about that.
Person said that Butch was such a big supporter of Nebraska football, that he knew every player on the team, season statistics and history more than anyone else in the town.
"It was just amazing to me how much Butch knew and the memories that he retained about Husker football," Person said. "He was always on the 'cutting edge' of everything going on with recruiting and what was going on with the players. A lot of this was before the days of the internet being available, so Butch just always had his ear to the ground."
Butch was known for walking everywhere he went, whether it was close to his home or across the entire town.
"He walked everywhere he went," Person said. "I think one of the reasons that he had so much endurance and navigated some health issues is because he walked everywhere. It kept him healthy and he was a special guy."
Butch tried to get involved as much as he could in the community, volunteering and supporting several local events.
"He was always helping the business community downtown," Person said. "He would pick up odds and ends jobs, worked out at the Office of Human Development workshop and just went everywhere. Anytime I would see him walking, I would pull over and he'd jump in and I'd take him wherever he wanted to go, but I think a lot of other people would give him rides too."
One of Person's favorite memories of Butch was when the city honored him at a Chamber of Commerce function, where he was gifted a leather Nebraska Cornhusker's jacket.
"The room absolutely erupted when we presented Butch that Husker jacket," Person said. "He proudly wore that thing until it was in threads, whether it was a 100 degree day or a -25 degree day, he had to have that jacket on."
Butch's presence in the town was enough to make everyone living in it smile and feel welcomed. He loved the Sidney community and it showed with how he acted with others.
"He was just a great, great guy and I will certainly remember him fondly," Person said. "He will always hold a very dear place in my heart and in the hearts of everybody that knew him. Sidney lost a true icon, and probably its greatest cheerleader. He was very proud of his hometown, a role model as a citizen and one of a kind. He was our Butch and will be fondly and forever remembered and never forgotten."
Graveside services will be held at 2:00 P.M. Friday, May 28, 2021 in Greenwood Cemetery in Sidney. Cremation has been held.
Memorial contributions may be made in Butch’s name to the donor’s choice. You may view Butch’s Book of Memories, leave condolences and memories at www.gehrigstittchapel.com. Gehrig-Stitt Chapel & Cremation Service, LLC is in charge of Butch’s care and funeral arrangements.
A link to Butch's obituary can be found here on the News Channel Nebraska website.