Everett "Butch" E. Reimer
Butch is many things to many people. Father, husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend. Nearly all of us can also include "coach" to the list. Whether it's skiing faster, running harder, improving our ball handling skills, or putting more effort into whatever we're doing, Butch encourages us to be our best. Most of all, through his attitude, words, and actions, he coaches us all to be better human beings.
Thursday, October 21, 2010 8:31 PM, CDT
The following is Butch's obituary. It will run in the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Please reference the bottom for information on the visitation and service.
Everett “Butch” Ernest Reimer, 58, Little Suamico, peacefully left his family on Tuesday, October 19th in Milwaukee after a brief fight with leukemia. The son of Harverda (Burmeister) Reimer and the late Ernest Reimer was born on March 28, 1952 in Green Bay. He graduated from Green Bay West High School and NWTC. He was employed as the Facilities Director for the Pulaski Community Schools for more than 33 years. Also, he served as coach of the UWGB Nordic Ski Team, the UWGB Women’s Fast Pitch Team, the Pulaski Varsity Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer Teams. In addition, he volunteered his time as a coach to the United Soccer of Allouez for more than 10 years.
Butch has accomplished much in his short life both professionally and personally. Most recently, Butch was named the 2010 Midwest Nordic Ski Coach of the Year. Also Butch has served as a coach for the USA Nordic Ski Team at the World University Games in Spain. Additionally, he sent more than 44 student athletes to the NCAA Nordic Ski Championships. Athletically, Butch was also gifted. He was a World Class Fast pitch Softball Pitcher who competed in elite leagues around the state. In addition to coaching Nordic skiing, Butch was also a talented skier himself, having participated in thirteen American Birkebeiners, finishing 51st in the Elite Group. Butch kept himself fit by running or roller skiing daily.
But most of all Butch, was a devoted family man. More than anything, he enjoyed coaching and mentoring his children, Jake and Hannah. He lovingly cheered on his children with his adored wife, Jill. Butch also enjoyed Friday night fish fries with his mother, Harverda, tinkering with brothers Mark and Wayne, playing cards with his sister Cindy and spending time with his beloved lab, Wilson.
Butch is survived by a loving family who will keep always his memory alive. These include wife Jill DeYoung Reimer, son Jacob, daughter Hannah and mother Harverda Reimer. Butch’s siblings include brother Wayne Reimer (Alana), brother Mark Reimer ( Angie) and sister Cindy (fiancé Tim). Other relatives include sister-in-law Jeanne (DeYoung) Alexejun (Robert ), brother-in-law Jed DeYoung (Barb), brother-in-law John DeYoung (Gloria), sister-in-law Johanna DeYoung (John Vindekilde), sister-in-law Julie DeYoung (Larry Spencer) and Butch’s Aunt Mary (Reimer) Hayes. Many nieces and nephews survive Butch as well; these include Eric Reimer (Laura) sons Ethan, Logan and Dylan, Shannon (Ryan) Gerczak daughter Ashtyn, Brook Frisque, Paige Frisque, Jonathon (Alisha) Reimer, Natalie Reimer, Justin Reimer, Kris Peot, Christa (Alexejun) Carr (Mike) son Ryan, Brooke Alexejun, Bryan Alexejun, Jared DeYoung, Johanna DeYoung (Austin Friedrich), James DeYoung, Nicholas DeYoung daughter Mya, Otto Vindekilde, Inger Vindekilde, Eva Vindekilde, Sam Spencer, Sarah Spencer and Sean Spencer. Butch was preceded in death by his father Ernest Reimer.
The Reimer Family thanks the many people who have prayed for and supported Butch in the past weeks. Also, the family appreciates the care and compassion of the St. Luke’s Medical Center staff. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund in Butch’s name will be established.
Join Butch’s family in celebrating his life. Visitation is to take place on Saturday, October 23rd at Redeemer Lutheran Church (210 S. Oneida St. Green Bay, 54303) from 10am to 2pm. Funeral services will begin at 2pm. Hansen Family Funeral Home is serving the family.
Reprinted with permission from "The Family of Butch Reimer."
Tribute to Butch Reimer
by Eric North
October 20, 2010
One and all,
After a short but valiant battle with a very aggressive form of Leukemia, the ski community and world at large lost an incredible human being last nite in Butch Reimer. Butch began the Nordic Ski Team at UW-Green Bay in 1989. At that time it was in the NCSA, but joined the NCAA and became a Division 1 Ski Team. In testament to both his athletes and his coaching, by 1996 he had sent at least (by my count) 7 men and 4 women to NCAA Nationals. His skiers produced many Regional Championship victories and several top-20 and even top-10 finishes at NCAA Nationals. Some of his former athletes you might know include Bryan Fish, Adam Swank, Josh Tesch and Santi Ocariz. Butch's coaching style was to lead by example. Until several years into this coaching at GB, he could still compete and sometimes beat his own skiers! He was kind and patient, but still somehow seemed to bring out the best in his skiers. Butch proded himself on developing skiers from the midwest, often foregoing more talented skiers to give Wisconsin and Minnesota kids a chance at skiing fast and a good education. In fact, many of his champion skiers (and even more that weren't champions) were kids that no one else would give a chance to. And, when UWGB was left without a coach, he stepped up and resumed the position he had left years earlier to focus more on his family, effectively rescuing the team from collapse to continue providing opportunities for kids to realize their own dreams in both skiing and school.
Most importantly, Butch wanted his skiers to be good people. Practices were ALWAYS a balance of hard work and fun. As it should be every day in life. So many of us former skiers credit our lifelong friendships we built with other teammates to him. We've become Doctors, Physical Therapists, Biologists, Builders and Teachers. And there isn't a one of us that has learned valuable life lessons from our old coach, both successes and failures. He has inspired many of us to continue passing on his legacy of coaching through fun and competition. Passing on the gift of the lesson to play hard and work hard, all the while with respect and patience.
As an athlete, Butch gave me and many others far more attention and patience than we/I deserved. Butch gave me the opportunity to realize a dream and reach my potential. But he also gave me the opportunity to bond with people who I would hold dear and remain my closest friends for the rest of my truly lucky life. He didn't just create a powerhouse ski team, he created a family. He and his family opened their homes to us all, fed us and cheered us on the ski trail and in life.
There were many of us who did get to be touched by Butch. For others, there's a good chance you've met someone on the ski trail who was influenced by him.
Please visit his Caringbridge site and sign his guest book. Read some of the entries and it quickly becomes clear that there are many of us who were lucky to know him. Services will be held in Green Bay on Saturday the 23rd. Updates are on his caring bridge site.
Peace to all...
All Things Wild Consulting
Reprinted with permission from Bruce Adelsman, skinnyski.com, New Brighton, MN*********
Tribute to Butch Reimer
by Bryan Fish
October 21, 2010
Butch Reimer has had a significant influence in my life. It was under his tutelage that my passion for Cross Country Skiing matured.*********
Remembering Butch Reimer
The summary reads, “Butch Reimer passes of cancer and is survived by Jill - his wife, daughter - Hannah and son - Jake.” Turning back the pages, one will always find a story deeper in content and substance. Butch’s story is one that touches many of us in the Cross Country Ski community. I am one of many people that have been deeply inspired by Butch’s leadership and motivation.
Butch’s influence in my life in Nordic skiing is only trumped by my parents. Butch recruited and encouraged me to come to UW-Green Bay as an athlete, recruited and encouraged me to get involved in coaching at my alma mater and encouraged me to follow my passion as a coach with CXC and now with the US Ski Team.
His legacy lives and grows within all us athletes he coached, and the sheer number of us that are still competing, coaching and involved in the sport. This is a great testament to the culture he cultivated at UW Green Bay. I learned of Butch’s diagnosis on October 1st while visiting former UW-Green Bay teammates Adam Swank, Josh & Kate Tesch. It was no irony that I would find out from them, for Butch fostered a strong team unity at UW-Green Bay that has developed into the closest of life-long friendships. Life-long passion for outdoor endurance activities, forging team bonds and maintaining optimism regardless of situation or outcome was Butch’s beliefs.
I was heading out the door yesterday morning to meet up with Garrott Kuzzy and Scott Wilson for a mountain bike ride when I checked my emails and discovered of Butch’s passing. Garrott inquired, “What did Butch teach you in your coaching philosophy?” I commented that I learned from him that the role of the coach is to support and not dictate. I added that it might sound minor, but it affects every aspect of coaching. Butch also taught me that coaching has a great deal to do with forging a personal connection between athlete and coach versus simply executing the fundamental training principles of the sport. Butch wanted athletes to make their own decisions and forge their own paths. In a sport like ours, we need to be self-motivated and self-driven. Butch encouraged us to steer our own futures.
Butch’s approach was motivating, but in a subtle manner. Butch was not a high profile individual. That wasn’t his style. Trying to sum up Butch in a sentence is difficult, but what comes to mind is a nice guy who always wanted to lend a hand.
Butch was not a full time coach. He had a comfortable position with the Pulaski School District. He coached because he had a passion to lend a hand. He stepped aside from coaching the UW-Green Bay Ski program for eight years, so he could invest more time with his family and children who were in junior high and high school at the time. He returned to coaching ski program once Jake and Hannah went off to college and I stepped aside. Personally, I feel I was just keeping his “coaching seat” warm in his hiatus.
He couldn’t stay away from coaching in his absence of the UWGB Ski Team. He became a soccer coach for his daughter’s soccer program & also helped coach the UW-Green Bay Women’s Fast Pitch Softball team. Few skiers knew that Butch was a professional fast pitch softball pitcher in his younger years. Then freshman skier – Matt Frost - learned of his accuracy and speed when Matt picked the wrong person to have a snowball fight with.
I had planned to visit Butch this Friday after my return from Lake Placid. I was going to stay with my college freshman roommate and former teammate – Ben Nysse who lived five minutes from St Luke’s hospital where Butch was being cared for. This August was the last time I saw Butch. I stopped by his house to say hi and to inevitably talk about coaching and skiing. I had to wait a half hour as Butch finished a rollerski. He looked fit, healthy and his normal enthusiastic self.
My mountain bike through the silent woods of Northwoods Wisconsin yesterday provided a unique opportunity to reflect on Butch’s positive influence in my life. The friendship he forged with me has developed meaning and purpose in my coaching. If anyone asks my thoughts on Butch; I would say that Butch was well respected and will be deeply missed.
Reprinted with permission from Bruce Adelsman, skinnyski.com, New Brighton, MN
By Carolyn Freeman,
senior on the women's Nordic ski team
November 1, 2010
Carolyn Freeman (third from right) pays tribute to Nordic skiing coach Butch Reimer.
Butch Reimer was far more than a coach. He was a friend that offered the best advice and knew just when to offer it. He always knew just what to say even if you thought no one noticed you needed a helping hand. As a coach Butch wanted to help the no name athletes from the US become big names in the ski world. He never recruited a foreign athlete like many other coaches do. He saw the talent in athletes before they could see it in themselves. He never stopped believing in us and even when we met goals we never dreamed possible he would push us to take on bigger ones.
Personally, I never thought I had a future in Nordic Skiing. I was overwhelmed with joy when Butch offered me a chance to ski for him on scholarship. I found that this was only the beginning of a lifelong passion that I intend to continue after college thanks to Butch. I also attribute the wonderful teammates that have become my family over the years to Butch. He also emphasized the importance of being a student-athlete. School always comes first and then skiing. He believed if you can succeed in school that determination will transfer over into skiing.
Not only was Butch a terrific coach, he was great family man. He took all of us in and made us a part of his family when we were away from home. He was always willing to lend a hand to anyone he met. At races, Butch was kind to everyone. He congratulated all the athletes, not just the ones who did really well. Most of all Butch had a light-hearted sense of humor about him that was contagious. I remember him teasing me about getting third in a race by one hundredth of a second. Which was his way of telling me, "you'll get them next time."
It's hard to describe Butch in a couple of words. When I hear his name or am asked about him so many wonderful memories come to mind. For many of us, he was a believer. He believed his team could do anything they put their mind to and supported us all the way.
I am truly blessed to have known this incredible man and have learned from his kindness. Butch will forever be in all of our thoughts. I know he will be at the top of every hill cheering us on as we race for him, our believer.
Reprinted with permission from Carolyn Catherine Freeman. *********
Bio as it appeared on the UW-Green Bay Athletics website
Position: Head Coach
Butch Reimer concluded his fourth year as the Green Bay Nordic skiing coach in 2009-10. After an eight-year respite from coaching collegiate Nordic skiing and a four-year hiatus from the Green Bay athletics department, Reimer returned to coaching in 2006.
Last season, Reimer guided a pair of Phoenix skiers to the NCAA Skiing Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Senior Santiago Ocariz wrapped up his career with All-American honors, while junior Carolyn Freeman turned in the second-best performance in the history of Green Bay women's skiing. Ocariz was named the Central Collegiate Ski Association's Male Athlete of the Year, while Reimer took home the CCSA's Male Coach of the Year honors.
From 1988 to 2002, Reimer served as a mentor for Green Bay student-athletes. He spent nine seasons as the Nordic ski head coach from 1988-98. Reimer also had a six-season stint as Green Bay's head softball coach from 1996-2002, where he compiled a 104-150 record.
Reimer arrived at Green Bay for the 1988-89 season. In taking over the two-year-old program, he boosted the squad into national prominence. During his entire coaching career, 33 men's and women's skiers qualified for the NCAA Championships. In addition, Reimer has posted two regional championships and two conference titles.
His expertise in Nordic skiing was recognized in 1995 when he was selected as one of three coaches to assist the United States at the World University games in Jacai, Spain.
As the head coach for the Green Bay softball squad, Reimer also led the Phoenix to three straight conference tournament title games, including the team's runner-up finish in 2000 when Green Bay posted a then-program best 27-15 record. The native of Green Bay served as the head coach for both the softball and Nordic ski teams for two seasons, from the fall of 1996 to the spring of 1998.
Reimer currently works as the facilities director for the Pulaski Community School District. He and his wife, Jill, have two children, Jake and Hannah.