Butch Liestman

June 3, 1945-December 16, 2020

Luverne “Butch” Milton Liestman, 75, of Clearwater, Minnesota, was called home by the Lord on December 16, 2020 following his second courageous fight with cancer.

Butch was born in Paynesville, Minnesota, on June 3, 1945, the son of Milton and Myrtle Liestman. He was raised in Paynesville where he was a four-sport athlete participating in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He received the honor of being inducted into the Paynesville Bulldog Hall of Fame in 2011.

In September of 1965, Butch married his high school sweetheart, Carol Revier. The couple lived in LeMars, Iowa, where Butch played baseball and eventually graduated from Westmar College with his bachelor’s degree despite watching too many episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show.” He would spend 35 years in education, including 21 as a principal.

In the fall of 1967, the couple moved to Fairfax, Minnesota where Butch would teach, coach, and eventually become the junior/senior high school principal. He taught physical education, health, and psychology prior to earning his master’s degree and his administrative license from Mankato State University in 1981. He then served as the junior/senior high school principal in Fairfax from 1981-1986. During his time in Fairfax, he spent 13 years as the head football coach where his teams were known for running the wishbone, three years as the head track coach, and one year as the head basketball coach.

Butch spent three years as the Holdingford High School principal from 1986-1989, and then spent the last 13 years of his career in education as the Becker High School principal from 1989-2002 before his retirement. He was named the Central Division Principal of the Year in 1993. Following his retirement, Butch and Carol moved to their current residence in Clearwater, Minnesota.

We would like to thank everyone who played an important role in Butch’s life – students, faculty members, administrators, fellow coaches, teammates, and friends. Some of his fondest memories were created while playing fast-pitch softball, playing baseball for the Fairfax Cardinals, sitting by a campfire on the river bottom with friends, and coaching the Fairfax Eagles and Fairfax-Gibbon Cavaliers football teams.

After his retirement, he volunteered as an assistant golf coach with his dear friend, Bill Gallipo, and had the honor of coaching his granddaughter, Mari, and her teammates on the Becker High School girls’ state tournament golf team. He was also blessed to have watched his grandson, Jake, and his Becker Bulldogs football teammates win back-to-back state championships in his junior and senior seasons.

Butch enjoyed playing golf nearly every day possible in Minnesota, singing in the church choir, taking trips on their Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, and attending Minnesota Golden Gophers football games. He was a devoted grandpa and faithfully attended every concert, sporting event, or other important family gathering that involved his granddaughter Mari and his grandson Jake. He loved playing golf with his grandchildren. In recent years, Butch enjoyed several weekend trips to the cabin in Ely where he found it very relaxing to just sit and watch the deer.

Aside from competing with his fellow Cardinals teammates, a few of Butch’s favorite memories from his 23-year amateur baseball career were winning the Great Soo batting title in 1964 for the Paynesville Lakers, while batting .538, playing an entire season without striking out in 1970, and catching a 21-inning state tournament game for the Fairfax Cardinals.

Butch is survived by his wife, Carol; his son, Jason and daughter-in-law, Pam; granddaughter, Mari of Milwaukee; grandson, Jacob of Blaine; and sister, LuAnn Wegener of Florida. Although he had many personal accomplishments throughout his lifetime, the thing that was always most important to Butch was his family. Butch’s family is forever grateful for those of you who were a special part of his life.

A private, family ceremony in honor of Butch was held in Paynesville, Minnesota, on December 26, 2020. Music for the ceremony: violinist, Mari Liestman, and accompanist, Pam Liestman. Honorary pallbearers: Lowell Zellmann, Jim Becker, Gary “Goose” Hess, Jacob Liestman, and Jason Liestman.


Subscriber Login