Cover photo for Danny "Butch" J. McCloud's Obituary
Danny "Butch" J. McCloud Profile Photo
1954 Danny "Butch" 2024

Danny "Butch" J. McCloud

August 28, 1954 — March 5, 2024

On March 5th 2024, Danny “Butch” McCloud passed away at his home.


As a lover of tall tales, Butch has presented his loving wife and two extraordinarily handsome sons with somewhat of a challenge when it comes to writing his obituary, the prime example of which being the origin of his name. Although his real name was Danny, only his parents and siblings would refer to him as such. Whether it was out fishing with his friends, counseling his patients, or coaching on the baseball diamond, he was known simply as Butch (or Coach Butch). Depending on the time of day, season of the year, and humidity in the air, he would weave a unique tale on how he adopted Butch as his name. The most common version that we heard is that he became known as Butch because of his macho nature and how he could take a punch as a kid. Recently we learned from his brother that he simply came up with the name for himself one day at school. While we may never know the real reason why he chose the name Butch, we do know that in the end he preferred another name: Dad.


On August 28, 1954, Butch was born to Claude (Bud) and Freeda McCloud. Despite his claims that he was adopted, Butch’s proverbial apple didn’t fall far from the family tree. Perhaps the most apparent trait he inherited was his father’s sense of humor. Butch had a passion for making others laugh and would seemingly go to any length necessary in order to do so. Usually this involved him telling a story or joke at his own expense. From his mother, Butch presented an incredibly kind and friendly demeanor that would draw others to him. He had the uncanny ability to make everybody feel at ease, and while attending John S. Battle High School he earned the Most Friendly superlative. However, the most notable characteristic Butch inherited from his parents was their sense of generosity and empathy. Butch never hesitated to assist those in need and his desire to help seemed to guide his actions every day of his life.


From a young age, Butch held an admiration and respect for all aspects of the great outdoors. He had a near encyclopedic knowledge for wildflowers and could instantly pinpoint the best trout hole to hit while fishing. Oftentimes Butch would go on a lone hike in the Smokies and celebrate his ascent to the top by taking in the view and enjoying a refreshing can of Beanie Weenies. Family outings often involved fishing trips where his wife would stay on the shore reading while Butch would catch twice as many fish as both of his sons combined. Of course, these numbers are self-reported and likely inflated as he would reel in the most fish while out of view.


His love of the outdoors ultimately led Butch to the mental health profession. Growing up, his next door neighbor was the director of a mental health center that offered summer camps for at-risk youths. When given the choice between working for his neighbor at the camps or being put to work by his father, Butch did not hesitate to pick the summer camps. It was at these camps that Butch’s passion for helping others was planted and nurtured.


For those of you who ever encountered Butch’s spelling, it may be a surprise to learn that he graduated from third grade; and while he never acquired a knack for grammar, he did demonstrate his remarkable intelligence in many other ways. Butch was a curious man who sought to understand everything from the chemistry of seasoning a cast iron skillet to the art of rapping on Halloween. In particular, he was drawn to the intricacies of psychology which led to him enrolling at Virginia Commonwealth University where he would graduate with a B.S. in

Psychology in 1976. However, he sought most to understand how to help people. This desire to gain a better understanding of people and the skills necessary to assist them led to his attendance at the University of Tennessee where he earned an M.S. in Social Work in 1981. Butch had his own unique style in the field. His kindness and patience especially would instill a sense of mutual trust with both child and adult alike. Additionally, Butch’s uncanny ability to make others laugh could instantly ease all tension in the room. Most importantly, Butch put his love for people on display throughout his career - a love that was returned unto him by his patients.


Butch’s first full time job out of college was at the same facility where he worked the summer camps. It was here at Bristol Mental Health Center that he met the love of his life: an intern by the name of Barbara Godfrey.


Butch was a romantic at heart. When he met Barbara, he knew he needed to bring his A-Game to have any chance of winning her over. Naturally, the first date he took her on was to go see A Clockwork Orange followed by a stroll through his parents’ garden to hunt for nightcrawlers. Butch would earn his place amongst the Godfrey family when he proved his talent for cooking to Barbara's mother as he would go on to spend countless hours alongside her preparing homecooked meals for her husband and the Godfrey boys. And as for Barbara's brothers, they were perhaps most impressed by Butch’s toughness when it came to the physicality of the Godfrey family basketball games. Butch and Barbara married on October 10, 1981, and they would go on to spend 42 blissful years together.


Then along came Butch and Barbara’s sons. Alex (the most handsome son and definitely not the one writing this portion of the obituary) was born on June 16th, 1990. Ethan followed a few years later on December 29th, 1995. Butch loved being a father. He loved spending time with his sons by coaching baseball teams, teaching them how to pretend to be good at fishing, and using them as an unwilling audience for his comedic routines. Most of all, he loved using them as free labor to help him mow the yard (the front yard being straight uphill).


Growing up, his sons believed their father was a local celebrity. Butch was always being approached by people in the community seeking advice and counsel on how to best address their problems. This was quite jarring for his sons as this was the same man who just a few moments earlier had tried a new “pull-my-finger” routine on them. But this reverence was well-deserved. Over the years, Butch established a reputation for being knowledgeable, thorough, and always willing to help. Nowhere was this better demonstrated than with the longevity of his relationships with his patients. It was not uncommon for Butch to see multiple generations of patients within the same family.


The service for Butch will be held on March 23rd from 3 - 5 p.m. at Smith Funeral and Cremation Services in Maryville, TN. Butch would have loved to have family, friends, patients, and community members attend these services to reminisce with each other over stories of his numerous quirks, heartwarming deeds, and preposterous jokes. Indeed it is rare to find a person who had a normal encounter with Butch. Come to the service and share these stories - nothing would make Butch or his family happier.


Butch McCloud was many things - a prankster that you had to watch like a hawk; a man so passionate about cooking that he would often travel with chili powder in a jacket pocket and tabasco sauce in the center console of his car; a man so strange that weirdness was the norm and normalcy was an oddity.


More than anything, Butch was kind. He was a lover of helping his patients. He loved his friends. He loved his family. He loved this life.


In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (https://friendsofthesmokies.org/make-a-gift/), Maryville Little League (https://www.maryvillelittleleague.com/Default.aspx?tabid=2741934), or New Zion Baptist Church in Williamsburg, VA (https://www.newzionwilliamsburg.org/give)

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Danny "Butch" J. McCloud, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, March 23, 2024

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