Obituary: Frank “Butch” Claveau Jr., 92, Scottville. 

December 1, 2017

Butch Claveau

Obituary: Frank “Butch” Claveau Jr., 92, Scottville. 

Frank “Butch” Claveau Jr., 92, of Scottville passed away on November 30, 2017 at his home.

Frank Xavier Claveau Jr. was born on July 11, 1925 in Scottville to Frank and Alta (Merritt) Claveau Sr. He grew up in Scottville and graduated from Scottville High School in 1943.  While in school, Butch was very active in sports and band. Butch was known as “Chumsky” when he was the quarterback for the Scottville Spartan football team.

His parents Frank and Alta were owners/operators of two businesses in Scottville, the Palace Ice Cream and Confectionery and The Palace Radio and Appliance Store of which Butch was employed before and after his U.S. Navy service both times. Butch joined the U.S. Navy on June 29, 1944 and returned home in 1946 and married the “love of his life”, Eloise June Buckingham on December 1, 1946.  They celebrated 70 years of marriage on December 1, 2016.  His presence was again requested by the U.S. Navy on June 29, (same month and day as before), 1950 for the Korean War and he served another two years before returning home to Scottville.  In 1958 he went to work for Dow Chemical Company in Ludington and became an electrician and eventually transitioned to the Safety Department, where he was the plant safety coordinator. Butch retired from Dow in 1990, after 32 years.

Butch was one of the original founding members of the Scottville Clown Band in 1947 that was known and referred to as the “Class of 47”. He often told the story about being the first person to sign up when founder Ray Schulte was recruiting band members. He was an active member and played and marched with the band up until the last couple of years. He was a life member of the band and was just honored this summer at a Clown Band concert for his 70 years with the band.

Butch also played with the Pentwater Civic Band in its weekly summer concerts in Pentwater for close to 60 years.  He also played the organ for the residents of Oakview Medical Facility every Sunday for 14 years while his parents were residents there and continued after they passed on.

He was a life member of the B.P.O.E and was very active in the local Ludington Elks Lodge serving in all positions and as the Exalted Ruler multiple times over the years. He also played the Hammond organ on Friday and Saturday evenings for the dinner hour at the club.

Butch Claveau

Butch was actively involved in the community of Scottville over the years.  He was a life member and active in the Scottville Optimist Club where he was instrumental in helping to start the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner for the senior citizens of the county.  He was Scottville Optimist of the Year for 2007-2008. He and his wife Ellie were Scottville Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year in 1975 and were the grand marshalls for the Scottville Harvest Festival Parade. He served on the Scottville Fire Department (starting during World War II as a high school student) and the city commission. Butch also organized and started the Scottville Youth Soccer Program.

Butch was an active advocate for the West Shore Community College Wellness Center and was a very active five to six day a week exercise participant from 2000 until about a year ago when his health prevented his participation any longer.

He really enjoyed steelhead fishing on the Pere Marquette River and golfing with his brother-in-law Harold Merrill.  He and his wife Ellie loved attending the Wednesday and Saturday night Sounds of the Forrest concerts in Baldwin.  Butch was a faithful fan of the Ludington boys’ soccer teams over the years, watching his grandsons play and then also continuing on in years by watching his great-granddaughter also play soccer.

Butch never met a stranger and truly enjoyed life to the fullest!

He was preceded in death by his wife Eloise (Ellie) in January; parents, Frank and Alta Claveau Sr.; and his sister, Jean (Harold) Merrill. He is survived by his son Bruce Claveau Sr. of Scottville and daughter Rise (Larry) McIntosh of Ludington; his three grandchildren, Bruce Claveau of New Port Richey, Florida, Jordan (Samantha Wcisel) McIntosh of Ludington, and Landon (Jessica) McIntosh of Grand Rapids; his four great-grandchildren, Aryanna and Braylin McIntosh of  Ludington, Zamorah McIntosh of Custer, and Ethan Claveau of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Cremation has taken place and per Butch’s wishes, no memorial service will be held.  Any memorial contributions may be directed to the Scottville Clown Band Raymond Schulte Memorial Scholarship Fund, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454 or the West Shore Community College Wellness Center, 3000 N. Stiles Road, Ludington, MI 49431.

Please visit Butch’s memory page at to leave a tribute of Butch for his family, or to light a candle in his memory.

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