1944 – 2023

Stephen Francis Butsko, aged 79, of Lead, South Dakota passed away together with his life partner Wendy Hartman in their home on December 9, 2023.

Steve was born in Columbus OH on August 20, 1944 to parents Frank Butsko and Helen Butsko (Jacobs). Steve joined the Navy where he served in Vietnam aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown before being honorably discharged in 1969.Steve then attended college on the GI bill and subsequently graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Forestry. He worked professionally in the /forestry/timber industry, both in CA and OR before retiring.

Steve was active in the Army National Guard in CA and Oregon, and retired from the military. Steve met his life partner 23 years ago, and they have been together ever since. After retirement, Steve and Wendy moved to South Dakota where they enjoyed walking the woods and picking berries for jam. Steve enjoyed fishing the creeks, and for fun they both would count motorcycles during Sturgis. Steve and Wendy enjoyed being active in their community. Steve acted as treasurer of the Spearfish Canyon Volunteer Fire Department. Steve was also a member of the Mist-Birkenfeld Volunteer Fire Department in OR, prior to moving to SD. He was a member of the Forestry Advisory Board, and an active member of the Lawrence County Republicans. Steve was also a VFW member and a member of the Elks. Steve attended St Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Steve is survived by his son, Michael Butsko, partner Rene, and his daughter Michele Dossett, husband Alan; step-children Frances Dugan and Nathan Dugan; sisters, Becky Bowyer, husband Charlie, and Julie Howell; grandchildren Daniel Contreras, Dominique Contreras, Jacob Dossett, Porter Dossett, Phoebe Dossett, Lillian Stevens and Dexter Stevens. He also had five great-grandchildren Jax, Jade, Ruby, Iris, and Jameson.

The Committal ceremony will be held at Black Hills National Cemetery on April 26, 2024 at 2:00 PM. A celebration of their lives will be held immediately after, at Tin Lizzy Gaming Resort in Deadwood. An additional memorial service for both Steve and Wendy will be on May 3, 2024 at Pier 39 in Astoria, OR. Flowers and/or donations to ALS Association in their honor appreciated.