henrymakow.com — Feb 7, 2018
Longtime readers of this website will recognize that many of the First Comments were written by a “Dan.”
His name was Dan J. Butler, a sculptor and web designer, one of the smartest and finest people I have known. For 15 years he contributed his insights in the form of comments and articles under the pen name “Richard Evans.” (Just search “Makow” and “Richard Evans” for examples.)
He passed away Monday as result of a failed lung transplant. He had emphysema due to chainsmoking when he was young and from inhaling toxic foundry fumes. His new lungs took in oxygen but did not expel CO2. He had the transplant May 25, 2017, and remained hospitalized, fed intravenously. He watched the Food Channel and Turner Classic Movies, musing on mortality- all the actors were now dead.
Dan Butler was born in Jacksonville, FL and lived there until high school. He moved to Arkansas in the early seventies and lived there till ’81, when he moved to Houston. He went back to school in Carbondale IL (Southern Illinois University). After that, he went back to Little Rock where he married Catherine Rounsavall. They eventually settled in Austin, where he opened his bronze foundry. He closed the foundry and divorced Catherine in the late 90s, then moved to Santa Fe where he worked in another bronze foundry. He moved back to Houston in 2004, worked for a while in web programming, then started working on a book with Andrew, a Dallas philanthropist he met through this site.
In his last months, he ruefully compared his condition to more successful transplant patients. I can’t imagine the pain he endured or the thoughts that went through his head. Finally, the doctors said he will always be an invalid. I spoke to him by phone Saturday after learning he had signed a “Do Not Resuscitate Order.”
“I’m just tired,” he told me.
He could tell from my voice that I was crying. “I might be crying too if our positions were reversed,” he said. Ironic considering he was the one who was dying.
A devoted friend Tim Johnson looked after his affairs and recalls: “After the operation, he did not express what I would call despair. He did feel defeated after all the cycles of recovery and setback, but overall, he was very positive almost all the time while he was recovering and had a sense of humor and an accepting attitude most of the time. He had a strong faith in God, and was completely at peace once he decided to stop fighting and sign the DNR.”
As you can tell from the examples below, Dan Butler was a brilliant crusader for freedom and truth. He was a Big Soul and will be sorely missed.