Monday, May 28, 2007

Steve Butcher Jr. dies of 'wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit '

An Army soldier from Penfield died during his third tour of duty in Iraq, U.S. Department of Defense officials confirmed Friday.

Staff Sgt. Steve Butcher Jr., 27, died Wednesday in Ramadi, Iraq, officials said. He and another soldier — Pfc. Daniel P. Cagle, 22, of Carson, Calif. — were fatally wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated near their unit in Ramadi, military officials announced Friday. Both were assigned to the Third Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, First Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division based in Fort Stewart, Ga.

Family and friends learned of Staff Sgt. Butcher's death on Wednesday, according to Steve Butcher Sr.'s law firm.

Staff Sgt. Butcher's sister, Angela Butcher, 26, said via e-mail that her brother lived in Penfield until he joined the Army about five years ago. After he joined the service, he lived at the Fort Stewart Army base, she said.

Staff Sgt. Butcher graduated from Penfield High School in 1997, said Nancy Bradstreet, director of information for the Penfield Central School District. He transferred to the school for his senior year from Charles B. Finney School in Penfield and had previously attended McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton.

School records showed Staff Sgt. Butcher participated in wrestling.

"Our sympathies go out to his family and to the families of all the young men and women who have lost their lives in Iraq," Bradstreet said.

She said school counseling officers have been notified of the death so they're prepared to talk with students.

Staff Sgt. Butcher is survived by his 6-year-old daughter, Molly Angela, his parents, Steve Butcher Sr. and Dianna of Irondequoit, and his sisters, Angela, Liza and Mandy, according to Angela Butcher.

Family members will provide funeral information once it is available, she said. In lieu of flowers, family members are asking for contributions to a trust fund for Molly.

From the Democrat and Chronicle