Much loved husband, father, and grandfather

Love doesn't end with dying or leave with the last breath.
For someone you've loved deeply, Love doesn't end with death.

4 Nov 1930
6 May 2007

William Nelson
"Bill" Butts


What a Blessing you are

I was just thinking about you --
and the many good things you've brought to my life ...

Waking me up with a dilly bar (from Bud Akens party the next day) when you got home after your evening shift

Building the camper and the 10-week vacation we took out west

Taking me with you in the semi with a load of stoves

Cutting wood over Christmas vacation (although I didn't like it at the time)

Giving me a key to the house when I moved away so I could 'always come home'

All those hours you and Mom put into the youth group

Driving to Winnipeg to see me and Derek

Loving me no matter how much I screwed up

Raising us in a church

And on a horse farm

Expecting us to learn to work

Clothing, feeding and educating 3 kids and feeding their spirits

Teaching me to do math and play cards

Worrying about us even when we didn't know you were worrying

Telling me about that "magical" land where the government paid for medicine and health care (I now know you meant Australia, but Canada is a good choice too) :-)

And so many more, to numerous to list.

It was time well spent, Dad!



Ten Years Gone

6 May 2017 marks ten years that you have been gone.I have sorely needed you a few times in those 10 years. But I am happy to say that, much more often, my soul has been comforted and emboldened by the memories of being your daughter. Thank you.

In memory of a man who valued feeding, clothing, and educating his children, we have made a donation to Plan Canada Gifts of Hope to provide school essentials, such as textbooks and pencils, as well as school meal programs and teacher training. And for the man that liked to get value for his money, you will be happy to know that, for every $1 we donated, a corporation matched it with $8. :-)

And we made a donation to Skeptoid Media. I've been listening to Skeptid for years. I know you valued education and learning and I think you would like what Brian is doing.

Happy Birthday 2016

Nov 4, 2016. Happy Birthday. I went to a Carroll Baker concert this evening. Listened to a lot of songs you would have enjoyed. She's still a powerhouse singer, even at 67, with a cold and a broken ankle (this has been a rough tour for her). She's from Nova Scotia and loved being here to perform. You could tell it in her performance. She also sang "Almost Heaven, West Virginia". I thought of you and Mom throughout the evening.

I haven't thought much about where to donate money in your honour for your birthday. Something will occur to me in the next few days and I will post it here. Love, Denise (update May 2017: I never did. Life got in the way. Sorry, Dad).

Father's Day 2016

I've thought of you more often, but written to you less, this year than prior. It's been a tough year in many ways and I wished I could have had your counsel. And it's been an interesting year in politics in both America and Canada ... I would love to have been able to discuss the events of the last 12 months with you. I've been playing Rummy again. I remember Rummy so fondly because we always played as a family. And you taught me math using cards. I hadn't played in years and years but took it up again this year; I think I'm pretty good at it and, as I learned strategy, I could see it through your eyes. I could see all of the mistakes I probably made as a kid; playing Rummy just makes me feel like you are there with me. (That, and when I hammer ... I can hear you saying,"Don't tap it.")

I listened to a lot of podcasts this year. What is a podcast, you say? You would *love* them. There are so many I would like to share with you, and that you would find interesting. And classic films. I watched a lot of classic films this year; wish I could discuss blacklisting, and Hedy Lamar (you would be surprised at what she is famous for now!), and Cary Grant, and Van Johnson, and what you thought of John Wayne off-screen and .... the list goes on. Someday, we will get to discuss these things, if they seem important then. Thanks for always looking over my shoulder. I love you and miss you, but feel so blessed to have had you as a Dad.

Father's Day 2015

Well, Dad, first of all, love and Happy Father's Day from your first-born college graduate! I graduated this week with a diploma in Electronics from Nova Scotia Community College. Better late than never! You would have been right there beaming with pride if you could have. Thanks for that. You always made me believe I could do anything.

You will always be my dad,
And I, your darling daughter.
The thought of you will make me glad
No matter where I wander.

Birthday November 2014

Happy Birthday, Dad. Thinking of you. To celebrate your birthday, I am donating $25 in your name as a Gift of Hope to Girls' Take-Home Rations. In honour of my very giving father, someone receives the gift of food and the gift of education! Girls in developing countries are often kept out of school because families believe their presence is more useful at home than in a classroom. This gift will help girls get an education. Each month that they regularly attend school, the girls will receive essential food items such as cooking oil or grains to take home to their family, encouraging parents to send their girls to school. Feed families, feed young minds, and be part of changing communities. And, you'lll love this part, your $25 is matched by corporate sponsor for a $200 value. Happy Birthday, Dad! You are *still* being a great provider and nurturer. And you are still remembered and loved!

Dad and Mom bought a 1961 set of World Book Encyclopaedias for me the year I was born. It was expensive for them, and a luxury they chose to provide to their kids. And it was one of the best things for my education, ever, even though some of it was out of date by the time I got to be an adult. Now, Wikipedia is a major resource in my learning and satisfier of my curiosity. If it is also yours, Support Wikipediaplease pitch them $5 to keep it running! WHAT IF, in the future, *every* baby born *every* day could have access to an encyclopedia. I'll be honest with you ... Wikipedia doesn't really need your money. They have invested wisely and kept overhead low (their financial info is available to the public), and they have operating costs set aside to run for some time without your donation. But for $5 or $10 a year, look at the 24/7 service I get. They deserve my $5. Other people who don't have a spare $5 deserve the service in the future. Do they deserve your $5? (Oh, and THANKS Mom and Dad!)

Thanksgiving Day 2014

I am blessed with many friends. Had Thanksgiving with one family before my friend left for the Arctic for a few weeks. And Thanksgiving Day with two other families. There are many people taking good care of your girl right now, helping her make her way through school. Friends have cooked for me, invited me for dinner, mowed my lawn, and helped me clean out closets, listened to me complain about schoolwork and teachers. I don't tell them enough, but I really, really appreciate it and I am not sure I would have made it through this last year of school alone. I know you would be pleased to know I am surrounded by love and good friends. I wish you all, including you, could be there when I graduate in the spring. But, today, I am thankful for them, and thankful I had you as a father.

St. Paddy's Day 2014

Went to Montreal for Spring Break. It was a break I needed from school and everything else. Ate food in little delis, saw the basillica and lit a candle for you, ate bagels ... you would have loved the food in Montreal. Happy St. Paddy's Day. I love you and think fondly of you often. The more I know about men, the more I know about women, and the more I work in a field that many women didn't get a chance to, the more I realize how lucky I was to have a father who so valued and loved his daughters, and never treated us as if we should expect any less of ourselves because we weren't boys. Thanks so much. Since you valued your girls, and because it is the 17th, I am giving $17 in your name to purchase Baby Chicks at Plan Canada as a part of their "Because I am a Girl" Campaign. Once the chicks mature, they can help feed a family with their nutritious eggs, and provide an income. I know you'd like that, since you were always a good provider (you still are: Mom is well provided for, and we kids got great childhoods and good educations). Thanks. (And the $17 is matched with $68 from corporate donors. I know you will like that, since you like a good bargain.). Lots of love. :-)

Christmas 2013

I never got around to posting anything for you for Christmas 2013, Dad. Sorry. Things were really bad and Christmas wasn't celebrated. Thanks for looking down and keeping your hand on me to comfort me.

Christmas 2012

  Support Wikipedia I gave to wikipedia today in memory of Dad for Christmas.

Dad and Mom bought a 1961 set of Encyclopedias for me the year I was born. And it was one of the best things for my education, ever, even though some of it was out of date by the time I got to be an adult. Now, Wikipedia is a major resource in my learning and satisfier of my curiousity. If it is also yours, please pitch them $5 to keep it running! We all benefit from your donation. Thanks.

November 2012

Because I am a Girl ... since you always supported your girls just as much as your son, I thought you would like this BECAUSE I AM A GIRL gift of 3 chickens to go to a family in a third world country. Once they start laying eggs, chickens become an instant source of income, often for women, who sell the eggs, breed the chickens and help provide for their families. They are also an important teaching tool for young girls to learn livestock management skills that they can use to make a living.

With Hurricane Sandy having just passed through Northeastern U.S., and causing a blizzard in West Virginia, this year, for Dad's birthday, we made a donation to the Red Cross to help with Disaster Relief efforts. If you are in the U.S., the link to donate to the Hurricane Sandy relief fund is

If you are in Canada, the link is

(the difference is just that they are tax deductible in different countries)

Thanksgiving 2012


Mother's Day 2012

Mother's Day? Why are we celebrating Mother's Day with you?

Because little Samuel Nelson was born April 26, 2012 and he is your first great grandson. Kaleb and Laurie love the little bugger and we are sure you would too. You would be so delighted.

As a tradition we hope to keep, Samuel is giving his Mommy a perrenial plant each year for Mother's Day. And for this first Mother's Day, he is giving her two Sweet William plants. Far away from West Virginia, near the Lonsdale Quay in British Columbia will grow a testament to a little boy, his wonderful Mommy, and his Great Grandpa William. The love is spreading far and wide. We think that would make you happy. Love from us all.

Five Years Ago Today

You passed away 5 years ago today. I was blessed while you were alive, to have you as a father. And I have been blessed throughout these 5 years to have your influence still with me. I miss you ... Those moments when I can't talk to you about something new to me or important to you are a little sad (Kaleb's first child was just born April 26 ... you would have been so happy to see a new life, and I remember how supportive and happy you were for me when Kaleb was born). But overwhelmingly outweighed by how blessed I feel that we did have each other for so many years.

This week, in honour of the 5th anniversary of your passing, we made a larger than usual donation to Mikey's Funnies Christian Humour email list! I hope you are smiling a lot where you are now.

Lung Association
April 2012

Almost 5 years since you've been gone.
You'd be mighty proud ... this is my second year in the Nova Scotia Lung Association Learn to Run Group.
This year Dave is doing it with me. The training is fun. The 5k is fun (and I can finish it!) and we raise funds for the Nova Scotia Lung Association.

St. Patrick's Day 2012

Always missing my father at St. Patrick's Day. In honor of Dad, a donation was made to Mikey's Funnies Christian Humour email list! Also, Dave and I watched BBC's 10 part series A History of Scotland and wished we could watch it with Dad and discuss Irish, English, Scottish history.

4 November 2011
Happy Birthday, Dad!

In honor of Dad's birthday, we made a donation to Mikey's Funnies Christian Humour email list because Dad always enjoyed a good laugh and I think he would like the work Mike does for the troops!

Dad spent a large part of his adult life with severely limited lung capacity. In his memory, a donation was made to the Lung Association Nova Scotia.

Trees By the Shore: tree #4,635 dedicated in memory of Dad.

April 2011

Hey, Dad! You'd be so proud. Your "not so little" girl is getting off of the couch to train to run in the Lung Association Lung Run and she raised $300 for victims of Lung disease.

St. Patrick's Day 2011

Thinking of you Dad. Donation made to the Red Cross in your memory, to help Japanese victims of the earthquake/tsunami

Happy New Year's 2011
Thinking of You

A little girl needs Daddy
For many, many things:
Like holding her high off the ground
Where the sunlight sings!
Like being the deep music
That tells her all is right
When she awakens frantic with
The terrors of the night.

Like being the great mountain
That rises in her heart
And shows her how she might get home
When all else falls apart.

Like giving her the love
That is her sea and air,
So diving deep or soaring high
She'll always find him there.

Thinking of you ... New Year's 2011

You will always be my dad,
And I, your darling daughter.
The thought of you will make me glad
No matter where I wander.

4 November 2010
Happy birthday Dad!

In honor of Dad's birthday, another donation was made to Mikey's Funnies Christian Humour email list because Dad always enjoyed a good laugh and I think he would like the work Mike does for the troops!

Dad spent a large part of his adult life with severely limited lung capacity. In his memory, a donation was made to the American Lung Society.

For the wonderful father who took seriously his responsibility to clothe, feed, and educate his children, a donation was made to First Book to help educate other children. It's a great organization, check out their awards and consider making a donation in honour of someone you love.

For the father (and mother) who bought a set of 1961 Worldbook Encyclopedias and Childcraft, which I so thoroughly enjoyed during my childhood ... a donation was made to Wikipedia ... the modern day encyclopedia.

Tree #4,590 dedicated in memory of Dad.

March 2010

Thought of you with love today, but that is nothing new.
I thought about you yesterday, and days before that too.
I think of you in silence, I often speak your name.
All I have are memories and a picture in a frame.
Your memory is a keepsake, with which I'll never part.
God has you in His keeping, I have you in my heart.

Hey, Dad, just thought you'd like to know ...
Dave and I are moving to Cape Breton Island ...
a place filled with Mi'kmaq Indians and Celtic music.
It's perfect for us ... and if you were here to tell,
I know you would be very happy for us. (March 2010)

4 November 2009

In honor of Dad's birthday, a donation was again made to Mikey's Funnies Christian Humour email list because Dad always enjoyed a good laugh!

6 May 2009

This year, to honor Dad's memory, the following donations were made:

Superwalk for Parkinson's Disease - Nicole Smith is running to support her father, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's 9 years ago, so we made a donation in Dad's name to support her and her father Lou.

Mikey's Funnies Christian Humour email list because Dad always enjoyed a good laugh!

McDonald's Canada was having McHappy Day in support of Children's Charities on the exact anniversary of Dad's death, 6 May 2009, so a donation was made at the Calgary Royal Oak McDonald's in Dad's name to support Ronald McDonald House.

Tree #3114 dedicated in memory of Dad.

We miss you, Dad, and we enjoy blessing people in your name to honor your memory!