John D. “Butch” Droege, 76, of Washington, passed away on Monday, January 7, 2019, at his home. Butch was born on December 15, 1942, to the late John “Jack” and Veronica (nee Voelkerding) Droege in Washington and was united in marriage to Judy Westhoff at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church on June 23, 1962. Butch learned the family business of Droege’s Supermarket and worked with his father, Jack, and uncle, Firmin, for many years and opened Droege’s Wholesale and Distribution. He was always known for his generosity and gave many young people of Washington their first job opportunities at the store. Butch and Judy ran the store after his father and uncle retired until its closure in 2011. Passionate about the business and the Washington community, Butch ran the Droege’s food stand many years at the Washington Town and Country Fair and was a member of the Washington Rotary Club, a charter member of the St. Francis Borgia Regional High School Athletic Association, a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, and a benefactor of the St. Joseph Hill Infirmary. Butch was an avid football and baseball fan, particularly the St. Louis Cardinals, and enjoyed the comradery of the Poker Club (aka Prayer Group).
A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2019, at 10 am at St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church and an open house to celebrate the life of Butch will be at John G’s Tap Room from 12:30-3:30 pm. A private inurnment will be held. Visitation will be on Friday, January 11, from 4 until 6 pm at Miller Funeral Home. Memorial donations are appreciated to St. Francis Borgia Grade School and Regional High School.
Butch is survived by his wife Judy Droege of Washington; Chris Droege and Nan of Boise, Idaho, Jeri Heisler and husband Terry of Washington, and Lisa Bell and husband Kyle of Washington; four grandchildren, Jewelia Buenaflor and wife Sunshine of Springfield, Missouri, CPT John Heisler and wife CPT Lindsay Heisler of North Carolina, Abigail Bell of Chicago, and Alyson Bell of Washington; other relatives; and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one granddaughter, Kimberly Heisler.