In Memory of




Obituary for Lyle Duncan Spies

Lyle “Butch” Duncan Spies passed away April 10th, 2021 in his 81st year after a lengthy battle with a long and cruel list of ailments. He was born on July 27, 1940 to Jack and Bessie Spies, the second of five children and the couple’s only boy. Butch’s childhood days were spent happily in the company of his older sister Lori (Paul Monte, d.2006), where the two formed a special life-long companionship. Sisters Donna (Ross Button), Dianne (“Dee Dee”, Bruce Stevenson) and Joyce (Donald “Buck” Ross) completed the family and provided Butch with a selection of much-loved sisters to tease. Born into a family of hard-working farm folk, being on the land ran in Butch’s blood. He was introduced to the sensibilities of farm life at an early age, and it fostered an extraordinary work ethic in him. From the age of 13, he spent his days helping on the family farm and working with his father Jack in the family business, Spies Construction Ltd. Here he mastered an unbelievable ability to move gracefully across trusses, and hammer in a nail in 2 strikes – he was truly a smiling, sun-kissed force to be reckoned with. Butch had a reputation for being jovial, hardworking and social; he made friends everywhere he went. Nights out on the town were of course spent in Elora where Butch met his beloved sweetheart Beth Gwendolyn (nee Kitchen, d.2018). They married in 1961, settled on a farm and went about the business of making their way in life. The 57 years they got to spend together flew by, filled with love, laughter, good friends, hard work, joy, tragedy and triumphs. Their life-long devotion to each other will always be an inspiration. Butch and Beth had four children, Karen (Dave Tilker), John (d.1981), Janet (Dan Melanson d.2002), and Jenni (Alex Mathews). His family was his world and Butch worked tirelessly to support them. An absolute highlight of his life was the arrival of his four grandchildren, Brandon and Colton Tilker, and Riley and Emma Melanson. The joy of being a grandparent was something Butch never tired of, and he was immensely proud of all of them. ‘Pa’, as he was affectionately known, was especially grateful and delighted that Emma was able to stay with he and Beth as their health declined in later years; her tender loving care was key to keeping them both at home where they wanted to be, and her family will forever be grateful. Butch also got a kick out of his many nieces and nephews, all of whom he held dear. To all who knew him, Butch was the very definition of neighbourliness, always dropping by to check in with friends, willing to lend a hand or give his construction or farming expertise, quick with a joke, and forever with a devilish twinkle in his eye. They don’t make men like Butch Spies anymore and he will be truly and dearly missed by everyone he leaves behind, including his faithful furry companion, Cali. Butch will be especially missed by daughter Jenni; he affectionately referred to her as his “shadow” once upon a time, and true to the name she would have followed him anywhere – he was larger than life in her eyes. Butch and Jenni enjoyed several trips together over the last fifteen years, and those memories will be forever cherished. Karen, John, Janet, and Jenni couldn’t have received a greater blessing in life than having Butch and Beth as parents; they were, quite simply, the best. They were both loved beyond measure and will be profoundly missed. Cremation has taken place, and when health measures have been relaxed, plans for a celebration of Butch’s life will be announced. Donations in Butch’s memory can be made to the Canadian Spondylitis Association (CSA) at (Butch suffered for many years with chronic pain due to Fibromyalgia), to Groves Memorial Hospital in Fergus, or to a charity of one’s choice.