John Christopher Butler of Lafayette, Indiana, lost a five-year battle with cancer on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. He was born to the late Gregory P. Butler and Carol A. (Strasburger) Butler. He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Gretchen L. Butler, and his two children, Brock N. Butler (20) and Allyson N. Butler (19).
John joined the Lafayette Fire Department in May of 1998. At the time of his passing, he was a sergeant assigned to Station 5 and a driver on Quint 5. Throughout John’s treatment, he continued to work faithfully and dutifully serving the Lafayette community. Even while going through surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation he missed very few days of work. He was an inspiration to all those around him. A couple hours before John’s passing, he wanted to ensure his battalion chief knew he wouldn’t be at work the following day, as his dedication to his department and brothers never wavered.
John was a friend to all and one of the nicest people you could meet. He made a lasting impression on everyone he met during his lifetime. He had lifelong friends from his childhood on the farm in Earl Park, friends and teammates from high school at Benton Central, college buddies from Purdue, and numerous friends and colleagues he made over the years.
John was the sixth Lafayette firefighter to die in the line of duty. John’s death was caused by complications from cancer that was brought on after 20 years of being continually exposed to smoke that is known to contain toxic compounds, of which 43 are known or suspected to be carcinogenic.
The lyrics of the song “Humble & Kind” are a perfect description of how John led his life. He left us all too soon, and he will be forever remembered as humble and kind.