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Hundreds of officers, family and friends attend Hillsdale county deputy's funeral

Posted at 6:14 PM, Jul 03, 2024
  • Hundreds of first responders come to Hillsdale County to honor a fallen deputy
  • William Butler Jr. was killed last week in Jefferson Township while assisting during a traffic stop
  • Video shows the beginning of the funeral procession and comments from inside the service at Hillsdale College's Christ Chapel

Neighbors near and far came to Hillsdale County to celebrate the life and legacy of William Butler Jr.
The Hillsdale County sheriff's deputy was killed in the line of duty last week while assisting another deputy in a traffic stop.

"I truly believe tragedies like this make an office stronger as well as the community coming together," said Captain Kevin Bradley.

Stories of Butler's love and generosity filled the inside of Hillsdale College's Christ Chapel Wednesday morning, the eve of Independence Day.

"During the big Michigan blizzard," said one man at the podium. "Billy, what did he do when he knew the animals were cold? He built igloos to protect the animals."

Hearse for William Butler Jr.

Another story shared during Wednesday's service was when Butler bought Thanksgiving meals for inmates when the county couldn't afford it.

"That speaks volumes to the person that he was. Always investing in someone else's life."

Butler was considered 'an American hero' for putting his life on the line everyday in Hillsdale County and during Operation Iraqi Freedom for the National Guard.

Group holds flags as police cruisers pass by at William Butler Jr's funeral

Hundreds of officers from various departments across the state made the drive to Hillsdale. Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II was also in attendance.


Michigan Lieutenant Governor Carlin Gilchrist II attending funeral of William Butler Jr.

Once services ended, Butler's casket was brought out of the chapel while bagpipes played as pallbearers placed his body in the hearse to take him to his final resting place.

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