Cover photo for Arlene Bute's Obituary
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Arlene Bute

August 19, 1931 — May 9, 2023


Arlene Bute

MORTON – Arlene A. Bute, 91, of Frisco, Texas, formerly of Morton, passed away Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at Bee Hive Homes of Frisco in Frisco, Texas.

She was born on August 19, 1931, in Peoria, to Arthur and Lois (Hunt) Heinz. Arlene married Paul Bute on June 14, 1958 in Dunlap, Illinois.

Surviving are her husband, Paul Bute; daughter, Linda (Kevin) Vinson of The Colony, Texas; two sons, Larry Bute of Canton, Illinois and Kevin (Cynthia) Bute of Winfield, Illinois; granddaughter, Nicole Bute of Winfield, Illinois and grandson, Tyler Bute of Winfield, Illinois; and sister, Joan (Howard) Williamson of Wood River, Illinois. She was preceded in death by one granddaughter, Angela Bute.


After graduating from Dunlap High School, Arlene worked for Caterpillar in the merchandising department. She was a member of the Caterpillar chorus and the Sweet Adelines women’s barbershop chorus.


Arlene was introduced to Paul by her future stepmother-in-law, Ann Bute. Ann and Paul’s father Claire were neighbors of Arlene’s parents Art and Lois Heinz. Paul had recently returned from Army service in Korea and was visiting his father and stepmother. Ann wanted him to meet this sweet young lady who lived behind them. The match worked!  After a 5-year courtship, Arlene and Paul were married in Dunlap and moved to St. Louis, Missouri.


In St. Louis, Arlene worked for Allstate Insurance. On her first day of work, she was swamped with phone calls for claims from an earthquake outside the St. Louis area.


Daughter Linda was born in 1961 and Arlene became a stay-at-home mom. Son Larry came along in 1963. In 1965, after a series of transfers, Arlene and Paul settled in Downers Grove, Illinois. Within a few years, the family had outgrown their home. Arlene and Paul decided to build a brand-new home and in 1969, son Kevin was born one day after moving into the new home.


Arlene took good care of the family and loved to bake cookies, pies, and cakes. She had a reputation for cleanliness which earned her the nickname “Mrs. Clean”.

Arlene enjoyed working on decorating projects around the home. She refinished kitchen cabinets, made curtains, and painted and wallpapered multiple rooms. She also liked to rearrange furniture and Paul never knew where the bed would be when he came home from work!


Arlene participated in activities supporting her love of music. She continued her membership with the Sweet Adelines chorus and began playing handbells with the First United Methodist Church. She also found time to volunteer in the gift shop at the Good Samaritan Hospital and work with an organization which would meet Korean orphans being flown to the US for adoption. Arlene would take care of the baby at the airport until the baby could be united with the adoptive parents.


Arlene was a lifelong Cubs fan and enjoyed watching the games on WGN while she was ironing. She was fortunate to see the Cubs win the World Series in 2016!


Arlene and family took many vacations to destinations in Florida. This love of the warm climate and the beaches led to their decision to make a winter home there in retirement.


Arlene and Paul did a great deal of traveling in early retirement. They enjoyed this period as they visited Europe, Canada, and many parts of the U.S.


In 1989, Arlene and Paul purchased a condo in Naples, Florida. They became “snowbirds” maintaining a summer home in Illinois and a winter retreat from the cold and snow in Florida. They made many new friends and enjoyed the social activities. Arlene began water aerobics and started leading the class when no instructor was available. She continued supporting her community by volunteering at a daycare in the Naples hospital.

Arlene worked at the local gift shop in the shopping center near their condo. She joined the church choir at the United Methodist Church in North Naples and played the handbells.


Arlene had a special place in her heart for babies and children and in 2002, she was blessed with her first grandchild, granddaughter Nicole. Two years later, grandson Tyler was born. Arlene was so proud of her grandchildren and enjoyed their visits and hearing about their hobbies and activities.


In 2008, Arlene and Paul moved to Fairview, Texas to live near their daughter. They bought a house in Heritage Ranch Active Adult Community and immediately jumped into the social activities and made many new friends. Arlene enjoyed entertaining and participating in the progressive dinners. She joined a meditation group which consisted of a little meditation and lots of conversation. After 11 years at Heritage Ranch, Arlene and Paul were ready to downsize and move closer to daughter Linda.


Arlene and Paul moved to Watermere Independent Senior Apartments in Frisco, Texas in April 2019. They enjoyed shopping for new furnishings and decorations for the new apartment, making new friends and going to social activities.


In 2019, Arlene suffered a massive stroke and for the past 3.5 years, she battled vascular dementia. Her fighting spirit helped her survive the Covid lockdown and separation from her loved ones. She spent the last 2 years at Bee Hive Homes of Frisco where she was loved by the caregivers for her sweet nature and pretty smile. She was well cared for by the staff and received daily visits from her loving husband, or daughter and sons.


Arlene was a strong woman, and her thoughtfulness and loving nature will be greatly missed.


A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 26, 2023, at Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home in Morton, with Pastor Adam Penn officiating. Visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.

Burial of cremated remains will be in Swan Lake Memory Gardens in Peoria.


Memorials may be made to the Morton United Methodist Church Building Fund or the Make a Wish Foundation.

Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton is handling arrangements.


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Past Services


Friday, May 26, 2023

10:30 - 11:00am (Central time)

Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center

140 S. Detroit Ave., Morton, IL 61550

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Funeral Service

Friday, May 26, 2023

Starts at 11:00am (Central time)

Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center

140 S. Detroit Ave., Morton, IL 61550

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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