News and Events of the Bering Strait School District
Saturday November 25th 2017

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In Memoriam: Ernest Wayne Butts

January 13, 1951 – November 11, 2007

Ernie Butts was born in Creston, Iowa, in 1951 where he lived on a farm and enjoyed a farm boy’s life. He graduated High School in 1969 and entered the Air Force and served 4 years. During the onset of the Vietnam War, Ernie reenlisted and did a tour of duty in Vietnam lasting 18 months. He later became a teacher and landed his first teaching job in Alaska in the Yukon-Koyukuk School District as a long-term substitute. He joined the Bering Strait School District 7 years ago in Teller then moved to Nome to help inaugurate the opening of the new Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center where he remained for three years. Ernie transferred to Stebbins two years ago to teach vocational classes, after school programs, history, and whatever else came his way.

Ernie summered in Branson, Missouri, with his siblings. Ernie is survived by three brothers, Larry, Gary, and Ray, and two sisters, Lucille and Violet and many others who came to know and love him. Ernie was an easy-going person with a ready joke and a great sense of humor. He was patriotic and determined that others should respect and appreciate the country he served so proudly.We will remember Ernie for his sense of humor, his delight in making people happy, and, of course, his love of hotdogs. Ernie loved simplicity and tried to take life as it came and advised others to do likewise. He was modest about his own accomplishments yet continually praised the achievements of others, no matter how small. Although he was hard working and fun loving, Ernie was a thoughtful person who enjoyed his moments of solitude as well. With so many experiences behind him, Ernie’s philosophy can be summed up in the words of one of his favorite singers, Johnny Cash: “I’m just thankful for the journey.”

We would like to thank Ernie for his presence in our lives. We will miss you.

Click here to view Ernie’s memorial video.

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