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Tom Butts

Tom Butts is kissed by his wife, Sarah, in November 2018. He died on Tuesday following a battle with kidney disease. 

Tom Butts died Tuesday evening at a St. Louis hospital. He was 58. 

His wife of 28 years, Sarah Kush Butts, posted on Facebook Tuesday evening that he "had fought a gallant fight to gain back his health."

Butts worked as a Macon County Court security guard after retiring from the Decatur Police Department in 2015.

In early 2018, his kidneys began shutting down. A social media campaign to find a compatible kidney was launched. 

Mount Zion resident Kathy Burkham, an employee of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office in a substance abuse program, learned about Butts on Facebook and agreed to donate to the stranger in December. She was tested and proved to be a match. The surgery was expected to take place within a few months. 

However, in April, Sarah Kush Butts said on Facebook that a test "was not what it needed to be for her to donate." 

Butts had worked for Decatur police for three decades.

"We ache with the absence of him already but we will gain comfort from each other as a family," Sarah Kush Butts posted Tuesday. 

He was the father of three children and a grandson. 

Burkham_Kathy 12.28.18

Macon County Sheriff’s Office At Risk Services advocate Kathy Burkham is shown with Macon County court security officer Tom Butts in December 2018.

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