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!!

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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!

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

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

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

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

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.