Richard Butikofer

Born in Postville, IA
Born on Nov 22, 1947
Departed on Feb 17, 2024

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Richard Lee Butikofer, age 76, passed away peacefully with his loving family by his side on Saturday, February 17, 2024, at St. Luke’s Hospital. He was a 48 year cancer survivor, but couldn’t overcome the long term complications of radiation he received during his cancer treatment.

Rich was born November 22, 1947, in Postville, IA, but grew up in the Little Switzerland of Iowa, on a farm outside of Elgin, to Harry and Rose (Dennler) Butikofer. He was the third of six children. He attended Cheery Valley Country School for a year and graduated from Valley High School in 1966. He grew up doing farm chores, farm labor for neighbors, working at the sweet corn canning factory, and helping with the family painting business. 

Rich continued his education at Upper Iowa University from 1966 to 1970 and received his BS in Chemistry. He was then drafted into the United States Army and served from September 9, 1970 to April 11, 1972. He completed basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO with further training at Fort Ord, CA. He was among the first round of troops to have orders to Vietnam cancelled, and was instead sent to New Ulm, Germany, where he was a truck driver on missile sites. Rich married the love of his life, Donna Hunt on August 4, 1973 in Oelwein, IA. After that he worked as a laborer at Central States Warehouse and press operator at Donaldson’s factory both in Oelwein, IA.

He then went to the University of Iowa from 1976 to 1979 and earned his pharmacy degree, becoming a registered pharmacist. During pharmacy school he worked as a Pharmacy Tech at the VA Hospital. He then worked as a staff pharmacist at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids for 33 years from 1979 to his retirement in 2012. 

Rich owned 26 motorcycles throughout his life and would ride them on trips that would take him from coast to coast. He and his family enjoyed camping and every summer they would take a family trip. He was a fan of the Hawkeyes, Cubs and Vikings and an avid reader. In September of 2021, he was able to participate in an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Most of all, he loved spending time with his family.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Donna Butikofer, of Cedar Rapids, IA; three children Eric (Charlotte) Butikofer, of Cedar Rapids, IA, Emily (Jim) Strasen of Robins, IA and Evonne (Eria) Sabiiti of Iowa City, IA; four grandchildren, Aaron and Andrew Butikofer and Lindsey and Laura Strasen; sister Louise (Leo) Johansen; two brothers, Robert (Kathy Juba) Butikofer and Gary (Cindy) Butikofer; sister-in-law, Kathy Butikofer and numerous nieces and nephews. Rich was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Merlin and Keith Butikofer and sister-in-law, Liz Butikofer. 

A Celebration of Life for Rich will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at 11:00 AM at Unity Center, 3791 Blairs Ferry Rd., Cedar Rapids, IA 52402. Burial Services will take place at a later date at Illryia Cemetery in Elgin, IA. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Illyria Community Church (stained glass windows refurbishment), the St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation, or the Cedar Rapids Public Library. 

The family would like to send a heartfelt thank you to all the healthcare workers that cared for Rich. Your care and compassion over the years allowed him to live a full life.