Daniel J. Bute

January 25, 1951 ~ November 23, 2020 (age 69)


Daniel J. Bute, 69, of Ottawa passed away Monday, November 23, 2020 at his home.

Due to COVID restrictions services will be private. Ottawa Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.

For someone that talked about his death more often than most, we were left with very little direction on what he would want us to say to deliver the perfect obituary. You see, obituaries intrigued Dan Bute. He loved to read about what people accomplished in their time here on earth and whether or not they lived long enough to witness a Cubs World Series.

Daniel was born to John and Phyllis (Durham) Bute in Streator, Illinois on January 25, 1951. Danny’s dad was his hard-working hero, and he got his wit from his mom who was his rock and protector. Danny’s sister, Jane (Stu) Kerr, was always his biggest cheerleader.  

Danny married Beth McDonnell on October 28, 1983 and is the father to 5 children Matthew (Julie) Bute, Kerry (Brian) Mahedy, Katie (Todd) Hopkins, Jake (Jayme) Bute and Maggie Bute. He has ten adorable grandchildren that will miss their Papa/Grandpa Danger very much: Jack and Will Bute, Colin and Darcy Mahedy, Hunter, Tate, Ty and Tillie Hopkins and Grace and Hank Bute.  

Danny graduated from Streator High School in 1969, the University of Illinois in 1973 and John Marshall Law School in 1977. Danny opened a law practice with his friend, Jack Cantlin, and later worked as the Public Defender for many years until being appointed to the bench as an Assoicate Judge until 2016 when he retired. 

He enjoyed coaching his youngest daughter in basketball and keeping the book for both the St. Columba and Marquette Academy basketball programs. He helped revive the Marquette Go Club, was a 4th degree Knight, an Elk, Co-chair of the Palm Sunday Dinner and former president of the LaSalle County Bar Association. He was also known to “hold court” in various local watering holes. 

Danny loved to tell a good story, many of which involved too many fist fights while growing up in Streator, but his favorite stories involved battles won and lost in the courtroom. Danny loved the White Sox, the Fighting Illini and Da Bears. He loved to cook, write in his journal, and brag about reading the dictionary and The Bible. He took art history classes, went sky diving and fished in Canada with his buddies. Danny played the trumpet, collected baseball cards, clowns and loved to dance.  

He also answered to Danger or Schadenfreude. He told his kids stories about being an international spy named Boom Boom. You always knew where you stood with him. If he liked you, you knew it. If he didn’t, you probably knew that too. Danny had a colorful language and could be described in many ways. Some adjectives we might use are witty, smart, sarcastic, bull-headed, compassionate, boisterous, honest, opinionated and loyal. And we loved him with all our hearts.  

Danny was preceded in death by his parents, a brother in infancy, his in-laws, John and Marge McDonnell, a sister-in-law, Millie McDonnell, two nephews, Jim McDonnell and Jack Breslin and a niece, Debbie Thumm. 

He was survived by his wife, his children, his grandchildren and his sister. 

Pallbearers are Tim Turnipseed, Larry Johnson, Tim Cappellini, Jeremy Johnson, Kevin Schultz, Bob Dunn, Darrell Seigler, Lori Missel, Stuart Kerr, Abby Berry, Trevor Kerr and Ed Kuleck.  

Memorials may be directed to the Marquette Academy Go Club or the Ottawa Food Pantry.  

















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