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Table Hockey Tributes

A Table Hockey Tribute

To our Dear Friend and Inspiration - Garry "Da Bomber" Butler!
Who passed away just after midnight - Wednesday, October 26, 2005
We Love You Garry!
God Bless You!
Condolences to Garry's family can be posted at
Condolences to Garry's family
A Note to Garry and Family!

Garry, this page is dedicated to you and your family. Here you are recognized by your friends
in the table hockey community for your friendship, kindness, playfulness, perseverance and your
strong faith and love for God! Here we acknowledge your contribution to our community, and to our
individual lives. We also acknowledge our love and appreciation of you. Without you Garry, our
lives would never be the same! Thank You and God Bless You and you Family!!

Listen to Amazing Grace while viewing Tribute
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How to Contribute to this page!

For those of you that wish to contribute to this tribute, please email
via the Contact page
with your prayers, stories, photos, videos, poems, inspiration, art work etc. Your
contribution is much appreciated and will be added to this page ASAP.

Home Of The B52's Logo
Garry Butler Family and Friends
Chicago White Sox Logo
White Sox's Ozzie Guillen & Garry Butler
Garry and Brett Butler
Lastest Contributions are at the top. To read from
the beginning you must start at the bottom of the page

*To see lastest entries you may need to refresh/reload page

Pierre Chastenais
Montreal, QC, Canada
Tuesday Febuary 28th, 2006

Has it been four months already? Time sure flies when you miss someone like Garry. He was, missed in Vegas, and amongst the numerous friends Garry made, because of one thing: the love for table hockey.

I did get introduced to Garry in august 2002 through his Lemont buddies as I took part in the second oldest tournament in North America, which made it's debut a few months after mine in late may. He even took me in his house the year after as I had no place to stay. Not that I wasn't looking for anything, but when it was discussed, I was to stay at Garry's for the night. And I did meet the man, behind the game and his other hobby, which was collecting baseball cards. He even brought me some rare beer cans with drawings of 1950s baseball legends. I still have them, and intend to save them for a long time.

Upon my last trip to Lemont many things happened that shook the neighborhood. First there was Barry Daniels suffering a stroke while playing basketball. Then right after my event in Montreal Jerry Pytlewski had a close scare. Then we found out Garry had cancer, and the last time I got to see DA BOMBER alive was in Lemont last july. He was in good spirits despite the situation he was in. He did take part in all the activities that week-end, and as usual we kept in touch, despite the distance. Good thing the internet is in our lives, as if I would have met Garry about a zillion years ago, then only long distance calls and regular mail was the essential means to communicate.

Throughout my years in the table hockey world, I have met many people I can call friends. Garry is one of them. I may take some time away from work this july and head to Lemont for the annual thing. Of course being an old school guy, I'd prefer that this event would be in it's original slate, around mid-august. But the LTHL does play year long, and to play table hockey in july is special. Times have changed.

Finally I want to take time to say hello to Garry's wife Candy, and to Brittany and Brett. I know it must have been tough to lose a loved one, but the good lord upstairs let Garry know his place was next to him. My time was a little over 20 years ago, when I almost died after a freak accident. For some reason someone told me my time wasn't up yet, and right now I'm doing quite OK, until something drastic comes along. Not that I'm wishing for it to happen when I'm old and grey, but destiny does have a cruel fate. Recently i learned of a good buddy of mine, who retired from work last year. His mom passed away after living a good life for 95 years. my pal Jacques is now in France, taking care of his mom's stuff, giving everything away before heading back to Canada and pursue his own life. He too did have slight battles with cancer, as it was quickly detected, and removed before further damage took place. The cancer may still be there, but that's life, everyone has to deal with it.

And there is the age-old saying: you got to take the days ahead one at a time and take what's ahead of you. We are very healthy, and wise. Friendships do last forever. Let's not forget that..

As everybody else, I do miss Garry. I know he's taken good care of up in heaven!


Pierre Chastenais
Montreal, QC

Warren Klotz
Vancouver, B.C, Canada
Saturday January 7th, 2006

While reflecting on what to say about Garry, I remembered this: Back in the summer of 2004, I found out Garry was coming to play in my "King of Table Hockey" tournament, I was scared... real scared. Word had it that he was breaking beer bottles and games left and right. I was nervous, I didn't know what to make of these stories. Here I was putting all the money up for games and this guy called "Da Bomber" was coming to destroy them!.

I am not sure eactly how I got over that fear, but one thing for sure is that the night I first met him at the Ramada Hotel, all my fears were gone. Yes Jim Rzonca was showing me how Butler cracked the end of his new Play Off game, but for some reason I wasn't afraid anymore. Maybe it was Garry's kind nature, I am not sure... but now the fear was gone!.

Then came playing Garry, he was a machine on the game... big thundering rod movements, very agressive playing.!Later that night we went out and had some beers and burgers, chatted table hockey, hockey and more. Here I was hanging out with Garry Bultler, Joe Salazar, Jim Rzonca, Brent Newman and Dominic Froome... I was was in Heaven!

The following day, the three amigos of Chicago, plus Brent Newman and my spouse Shelley and I went on a tour of Vancouver. The day was a gorgeous and it was then I had more time to be around Garry. We saw the sites, looked for Lord Stanley's statue, and eventually went for lunch. It was a fun day, and in such a short time I was already a big fan of Garry's.

The next day was the "King", Garry handed out medals to Dominic Froome and I, which was basically Vancouver's initiation into the North American Stiga Tour! I played Garry twice that day and I couldn't beat him, so I was probally happy he just missed the cut for the Elite division so I wouldn't have to play him again. One of my favorite memories of that day was Garry going on to win the Players Division and like a true gentleman thanked us all.

I don't want to pretend that I know Garry well, but from the onset he made an impression on me. Without even knowing me, Garry sold me the Stiga games and lent me the international players that made the King possible! Then he came to my event to support west coast table hockey, for that I am grateful.

Garry I know you still exist in Spirt, this is my prayer to/for you, and for all of us:

Dear God, Garry Bultler has touched many of our lives. Through him you have shown us a way to make this world a better place to be in. Through him you have brought love, laughter and strength to endure, and a strong faith in you.

May Garry be blessed, may his family and friends, and all of us who were touched by him, continue to carry your torch of love and kindness.

God, I ask that we all remember that love, compassion and kindness is what really counts, not the strivings/yearnings we so often lose ourselves in.

And yet let us enjoy our desire to compete in our chosen sport, but let us play as friends, not as enemies... let us rejoice in our sport and the miracle of life!

Your friend from Vancouver

Warren Klotz

Newman, Rzonca, Salazar, Butler, Klotz, Cairo.jpg

Gary Leverence
Chicago, IL, USA
Sunday October 23rd, 2005

Three years ago the Chicago Table Hockey League was preparing for its upcoming season. Potential new members were stopping by to see what the CTHL was like, and pay their entry fees for the new year. In walked a clean cut, well dressed, good looking man checking out the games being played. Initially we thought he was misinformed, and was looking for a medical convention or a meeting of the actors guild. No, we were mistaken he was looking to join a table hockey league. He walked up to me, flashed that trademark smile and said, "Hi I am Garry," I replied, "I am Gary too," we both laughed. That was the day the CTHL and I met Garry Butler.

He asked what the entry fee was, and immediately placed down fifty dollars. He then asked how a team name was assigned, and when could he could pick his. I handed Garry a listing of team names that were taken, and those available. He thumbed through the many pages, came to a listing and said, "that's me, I am the Berkeley B52s." That was the birth of "The Bomber".

It was not long before we all learned about the Bomber. Don't let the neat appearance fool you, this guy came to play table hockey. His ever enthusiastic play inspired the all of us, and his hard nosed play threatened all opponents. Whether it was his first game of the season, or that unforgettable quarterfinal series against Jim Rzonka, the crowd would take notice when Garry Butler took to the table. He was so entertaining to watch. His play epitomized what table hockey is all about. When Garry played, he laughed, he taunted his opponent, and he got everything he could out of each game.

He was an asset to the CTHL. He supported the league, encouraged the fun, and became a very good friend to all of us. Every league night and tournament had the Bomber in it. Every fundraiser received his contribution. Every meeting had Garry pitching in and doing what he could. Every time he showed up he brought the "Butler smile". He was the cohesive person that keeps a table hockey league going. He never went home at the end of a night without saying so long to everyone, and always came up to me personally and saying, "Thank you". He always thanked me for running the CTHL, the league he loved so much.

Well, Mr. Butler, I would now like to thank you. Thank you for being the B52s. Thank you for being the Bomber. Thank you for all the good times. Thank you for all the laughs. Thank you for helping the CTHL exist. Thank you for your contributions. Thank you for that series with Rzonca. Thank you for that smile.

I think I can safely speak for the entire CTHL family, thank you for coming into our lives. On a personal level, thank you Garry Butler for joining the CTHL and being part of it. Thank you for being my friend, I know I am a better person having experienced our friendship.

God Bless You Garry Butler

Gary Leverence
Chicago Table Hockey League

John Medema
Tinley Park, IL, USA
Saturday October 22nd, 2005

You are amazing! Through all your trials and tribulations you have shown a determination that has been truly inspiring. Even more inspiring, has been your ability to testify and witness to others about God in the face of adversity. You remind me of Paul (the apostle, not Ruiz) who wrote to others to encourage them while he was in prison. Your example strengthens and encourages all of us!

Be assured that you are constantly in our thoughts and our prayers. Even though you don't always hear from us, we are still there pulling for you and your family.

Our best wishes go out to you always

John Medema

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28

Dominic Froome
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Friday October 21st, 2005

Garry, you're a symbol of strength, courage and a table hockey powerhouse. Garry, you are the captain of the Chicago Table Hockey Team! A living legend. Garry I want to thank you for your hospitality. I am praying for you, and I know that you will always be strong. You're leading all of us into the future my friend. You do it well.

Dominic Froome

P.S. My Mustang is running well now. Honest!

Garry Butler playing Dominic Froome Vancouver King.jpg

Sue @ Harry's Tap
Chicago, IL, USA
Friday October 21st, 2005

Hi Garry,

The first time I met you was when I was bartending at Harry's Tap for Nora, who is was the evening bartender. You were kinda quiet but friendly. It took you a while to joke around with me, but after about a year and a half you were like one of my regulars on Sunday mornings.

You are truly a kind and gentle man, and I'm glad to have met such a wonderful fella. Please hurry and get well, you need to visit me and Cari again at Harry's Tap, especially since the Black Hawks are playing again.

Take care and I will keep you in my prayers!

Your friendly bartender,
Harry's Tap
Chicago, IL

Harvey Yee
Victoria, BC, Canada
Friday October 21st, 2005

Hey Garry!

I had the great pleasure of meeting you and hanging out with you all day at the Vancouver King tourney last summer. It was my first taste of Stiga, and in a tough field to boot, with the likes of Yourself, Jim Rzonca, Joe Salazar, Dominic Froome, Warren Klotz, Andrew Bazan, The Coyote, and the Wrights. Quite daunting it was, but most memorable to me was that you took the time throughout the day to offer words of encouragement to me, who felt way out of place. To this day, three of my best matches were against you. And I did say we'd have our rematch -- and whether it be on earth or in heaven, we are not done Bomber!

On another note, each time I see the White Sox on the tube I am reminded of Da Bomber. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. This shows how you have touched us all in the table hockey world.

God bless You and Your Family!

Harvey Yee
Victoria, British Columbia

The Thills
South Holland, IL, USA
Thursday October 20th, 2005

I remember meeting Gary Butler with my two sons and nephew in LTHL's first year in 2002 at Jerry P's garage on a beautiful summer night. I thought to myself, what a nice clean cut guy this is for being a table hockey enthusiast. As I got to know him and I saw him interact with my sons, I noticed his tolerance and good nature.It really impressed me the way he treated them as equals. As weeks went by I got to know Gary better and better and found he was also a family man with children and I could tell he loved kids and must have been and is a great dad.

As time went on, I got familiarized with Gary's competitive nature and I found that very appealing. Gary's one of the nicest people I think I've ever met in the world of table hockey and in any other world for that matter. As loud and intimidating as he is on the ice, that's how strong and understanding he is off the ice. Gary's truly one of a kind and I feel blessed to know that he's my friend. I will continue every single night to pray for his recovery because table hockey and the world in general is a better place with him in it.

With all our love and prayers,

The Thills

Garry Butler playing Eric Krol

Paul Ruiz
Toledo, OH, USA
Thursday October 20th, 2005


From everything I've read, I feel as though I have known you for a long time. We seem to have a lot of common interest such as the love for our family, table hockey, playing softball, coaching church softball, and baseball. But, the most important common thing we have is the love of our Savior Jesus Christ and telling others about Him.

"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" Rom 1:16

Knowing you were going be at my very first table hockey tournament gave me a real comfort. I thank you for welcoming Tanner and me. The "thank you" and the big old "daddy bear hug" you gave me before leaving the Stiga US open was an awesome way to end a great weekend.

It just doesn't make sense to my small brain sometimes what some people have to go through, but I know when I see Jesus in heaven it'll all make sense.

Garry, you are a great warrior, just the kind of man God wants on His side. As I told Jim Rzonca, it's a great adventure, it's not easy, not for the weak and timid, but for a real warrior who is ready to battle.

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33

May God richly bless you and your family,
Paul Ruiz
Toledo, OH

Pascal Thériault
Gatineau, QC, Canada
Thursday October 20th, 2005

Hi Garry,
Mmmmm what can we say or what can I say ? Maybe the best is to keep the silence and see the expression in my face or to see the reaction in your face and everything will be said and understand and nothing more will be needed to add after that.

I think sometime it's enough and sometime it's not. I just want to say that you are not walking alone, We're right behind you and we are thinking about you. And some they win, some they lose. More are winning in this situation for a message of hope and the message that it bring to people that will make us realise that the life is more stupid than we know and rock everyday. Sometime we are asking why it is happening and where is God in that situation, maybe there is no God maybe there is one, but in any case we should realized that we need to do what life impose to us.

You know Garry, the first time I met you was In Chicago and I never saw your face before that time, lot's of posting reading from you but I finally see you in person there and I realized how a funny guy you are with the serious that you have. What I remember when I'm thinking about you and I will always remember this is the video that Jim bring at the US Open from you when you destroy the STIGA game and Jim was so piss off and it was so hilarious, seeing him yelling as hell and you looking at people waiting for someone hoping to laughing. That's my souvenir From you Garry.

Now keep all the energy that you need to fight like a real Bomber and we will cover you with our all our LAHTO Snipper!!!

Pascal Thériault and all the LAHTO members.


Jim Rzonca
Lemont, IL, USA
Wednesday October 19th, 2005

Hello Garry. Its been great fun to watch some baseball with you over the last few days. Baseball is your thing. So your wish has come true as its now come down to the White Sox in the World Series vs the Astros. I look forward to seeing you on game day saturday for game 1 of the World Series in Chicago.

Garry you are a great friend and strong partner to me. You are a SUPER FATHER, a great inspiration to me as I see you fight continue to father as you lead your family and friends through these very tough times. Your strong leadership is showing Very Big through this tough fight and is something for all of us to behold.

Looking back I suppose the best recollection I have with you Garry was the day we first met. I only wish I met you years sooner.

I love you Garry.
Thank you for everything and Talk to you tomorrow!

Jim Rzonca

Garry Butler & Jim Rzonca in Vancouver 2004

Andrew Bazan
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Wednesday October 19th, 2005

I spent a little extra time with Garry both in Lemont and in Van. ,so it's easy for me to understand why so much love is being expressed here!

Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. No matter how bad things may get, Miracles happen!

The main reason I believe some people get through some situations while others do not is, how much do they have to live for. Obviously Garry you have alot of people in your life who want you to be a part of their future!

Keep the Faith!!

Andrew Bazan

Eric Krol
Homer Glen, IL, USA
Wednesday October 19th, 2005

Garry Butler is an impeccable dresser, the voice of reason, a fun guy to hang with, a true family man, extremely generous, and one of the most competitive people I've ever met. He's great to hang out with, but watch out once the puck drops. No mercy. Just a goal-scoring monster on the CTHL Coleco games and not bad at Stiga either, even though he's more of a dabbler at that game. I'll always remember that underneath all the teasing he'd dish out, he would help anybody who asked. It's a fact that the Stiga U.S. Open would not have grown the way it has if Garry wasn't involved. Just a true pro.

Eric Krol

Garry Butler refs Eric Krol & other CTHLer

Joe Salazar
Chicago, IL, USA
Wednesday October 19th, 2005

I met Garry prior to the 2001/2002 CTHL season. He came to Harry's Tap for the pre-season warmups with Jim Rzonca. Going into my second CTHL season, I was suprised to see Jim and Garry play so well that first day. I realized that that these guys would be tough to beat.

Gary didnt show up as the "Bomber" during those pre-season sessions, but soon the "Bomber" took flight, and terrorized opposing goalies everywhere. During this time, I personally, had a hard time getting used to the "Bomber". Especially when he took me to task for a few bad calls I had made reffing, even though he wasnt playing in that particular game!

Jump ahead to Montreal June 2003 Rose Bowl Classic.

This was the first tourney outside of Chicago, that I had ever attended. What a great time! I didnt do to well in the tourney and Jim Rzonca had to leave Saturday afternoon to attend the Bubble Boy Championship in Anaheim.

After Saturdays events at the Rose Bowl, Garry and I rode the bus to downtown Montreal and headed for Crescent Street. We sat in a pub, had a few beers and talked quite a bit. The next day Garry, Mike Lisowski and I roamed downtown Montreal, shopping and chatting the whole day. Just a couple of guys talking about life, family, hopes and table hockey dreams. I felt that I really got to know Gary, and not just the "Bomber" who intimidated me on the otherside of a table hockey game.

Aside from being an ultra competitive guy in the sports world, I found that he is a gentle, loving, devoted family man with a passion for the White Sox and baseball card collecting. But his eyes really beamed when he spoke of his family!

In Vancouver, Sept 2004, Garry, Jim and I had the greatest time. With Jim leading the way, we roamed the streets of downtown Vancouver to the wee hours, hitting every bar along the way. The coolest was stumbling into a "heavy metal" bar! Garry, Jim, the Shillington bros, Brent Newman, and I head banging to an obscure "death" metal outfit. We finished ONE beer and left...I think!?!

What was also memorable was the early morning breakfast Gary and I shared for 2 mornings while we were there. Gary and I were early risers( if you can call 9am early) and strolled down to the local cafe, ate breakfast drank coffee and chatted in the bright morning air of Vancouver. I remember sitting outside, watching the people and the traffic, chatting to Garry about our kids, our wives, our jobs, and how lucky we were to be in Vancouver playing table hockey!

I consider myself fortunate to be a friend of Garry Butler, I have experienced his kindness on many occasions, and I hope I was able to reciprocate.

Garry, thanks for being my friend, I am praying and hoping that the best will come of all this for you and your family! Most of all thank you for the strength you have shown. You are an example of how all of us should be!

Love you Garry. Joe Salazar

Garry Butler playing Jim Rzonca

Ron Marsik
Hickory Hills, IL, USA
Tuesday October 18th, 2005

I remember 3 years ago playing at Jerry Pytleski's house and Garry butler showed up and i met him for the first time. Anyway, we played and he beat me 3 to 2. I know this much, Garry is one of the toughest compeititors I've ever or will play against. Go white sox.

Sincerly, Ron Marsik

John "Luke" Luukkonen
Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Tuesday October 18th, 2005

We got to Lemont for the tourney and when Gary saw the BOS he had this big smile on his face. Jim knew the look and said "if the BOS can take Garry it can take anything!"

Well Garry tried it,played it hard but it was like the brick house in the three little pigs. Garry actually got beat up by the BOS getting bruised knuckles while playing it. He laughed about that.

I never saw the out of control guy we hear about, he is the ultimate genlteman with a genuiness about him that just said he was a good guy that would never screw a you around. I have no doubt he smashed a few games but I would bet my life he replaced them! LOL

I phoned him about getting a Stiga and he was very helpful he was in fact very willing to go out of his way to help me. Unfortunately I never did get the Stiga but it sure wasn't Garry's fault!

Garry is a big part of the TH community and I enjoy reading his posts on the Tavern. He is insightful when he was serious and hilarious when he was teasing someone.


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