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Dail Junior Butler ( Idaho City 1951 )

posted: Dec 9, 2008

Dail, 71, died September 3, 2008, in Holladay, Utah. He was born September 10, 1928, in Shelbyville, Illinois. “This was during the Depression and the necessities of life were not always readily available to our family. Even to this day when I can afford most things, I find myself reluctant to spend money. My brother-in-law gave me a .22 caliber bolt action Remington rifle when I was 10 years of age. This began my long love for firearms. I was able to shoot a string in two at 100 feet with this rifle. We lived close to the Kaskaskia River, and I sometimes swam as much as 10 miles in a day.

“It was during my senior year in High School that I realized that I needed to get a college education. As graduation neared, I decided to enter a branch of the service and receive the G.I. Bill of Rights benefits. I was still seventeen when I enlisted in the U.S. Navy and the Second World War had recently ended. I served three years with 31 months of straight Sea Duty. My first ship was a small Aircraft Carrier and then I transferred to a Sea Plane Tender that was headed for China.

“To subsidize my G.I. Bill subsidy, I worked during the summers for the U.S. Forest Service clearing brush outside of Republic, Washington, and as a smokejumper in McCall and Idaho City, Idaho. I also worked in the oil fields in Texas and Illinois as a roughneck.” Dail graduated from Utah State University in Geology in1953.

“My first job was as a Mining Geologist in Cobalt, Idaho, a small mining community in the primitive area situated between Salmon and Challis, Idaho.” Dail worked in Columbia, and Peru.

“I worked in South America and prospected the Upper Amazon area. I walked over 200 miles over the Andes with a large size backpack. While rafting down the Río Yaupi, I got into a long stretch of white water and ended up losing some of my gear and supplies. I was then picked up by the Ecuadoran soldiers patrolling the Border between Peru and Ecuador. They confined me to a bamboo hut that served as a jail and storage area and took away my passport. I waited in jail close to a month while they took my passport first by foot and then by bus to Quito to verify that my passport was legitimate. During this waiting period, I was fed very little and dropped from 165 pounds to around 135 pounds.”

Dail was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dail and Florence served as missionaries in Venezuela and Peru. He jumped at Idaho City in 1951.