‘Wisconsin State Journal’ Sportswriter Butler Dies at 84

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Tom Butler, who covered University of Wisconsin football and basketball for the Wisconsin State Journal for more than two decades, died Monday at the age of 84.

Funeral arrangements for Butler were pending with Cress Funeral Home, said funeral director Andrew Johnson.

Butler wrote for the State Journal for 34 years.

He was remembered in a report on its Web page for his soft-spoken style, politeness and modesty.

Bill Brophy, the newspaper’s former sports editor, called Butler “one of the classiest gentlemen ever to be called a sportswriter.”

“No one disliked him. He was one of the most beloved media writers in the country. I think he was respected by everyone who ever knew him.”

Butler served in the Navy during World War II and earned his journalism degree from UW-Madison in 1950.

He took newspaper jobs in Fort Atkinson and Stevens Point before joining the State Journal in 1953. He covered UW football for 25 years and UW men’s basketball for 20 years and also was assistant sports editor.

Butler retired in 1987 so that he could spend his time traveling with his wife, Bonnie, and enjoying gardening at his home.

His wife died several years ago.

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