REPUBLIC, Wash. Mark Butler died Nov. 14, 2019, in Republic, after a long battle with a benign, but inoperable brain tumor. He was 63 years old.
Mark was a free spirit and wanderer who settled in eastern Washington state to be near his family.
He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, spent his early childhood in Spain, and moved to Atchison in 1968.
He graduated from Atchison High School in 1974, and attended the University of Kansas.
He worked at odd jobs, traveled around Europe, wrote in his spare time and toured the country on a motorcycle, before embarking a career in geology.
He graduated from Montana Tech, and eventually began working in remote gold mines in Montana.
A few years later, he walked away from his job and remained out of touch from old friends and family for years.
He met a kindred spirit during his odyssey, Chanon Southmayd, who would become his wife.
Mark obtained a teaching certificate from Central Washington University and taught for a year in a one-room school house in northern Alaska.
He returned to Washington and moved into a cabin outside Republic.
His tumor was diagnosed soon after, but he stayed in the cabin and wrote and published several childrens books.
Besides his wife, he leaves two sons: Kahlil and Zion, of Tonasket, Washington; a brother, David, of Boston, Massachusetts; and a sister, LaDell Weinbach, of Los Angeles, California. As published in the Atchison Globe.