George Theodore Butt
Oct. 8 1976 – Feb. 27, 2023
No one wanted to say goodbye to George Butt. The Skagway entrepreneur died unexpectedly in Seattle on Feb. 27, in the presence of his loved ones, just two weeks before he was scheduled to head home after treatments for squamous cell carcinoma.
George, known for his humor and hugs, collected flutes and took up magnet fishing last summer. He loved cars, and according to his wife, Nicole Goodman, “could tell you what kind of car it was in the dark just by the headlights.”
George would have liked it noted he was in the gifted program throughout middle and high school. And rightly so.
“He was an idea man,” Nicole said. “I can’t tell you how many times he would come up with a good business. And then a year later, we would see it somewhere.”
Nicole said the couple’s Skagway business, Klondike Electric Bicycles, was George’s idea.
“He thought about it, obsessed about it and researched it to the nth degree, and decided that this is what he wanted to do.”
Herself a gifted business woman, Nicole is struggling to find her way forward without her partner.
“I just keep hearing his voice. You’ve got this. Don’t stress about the things you can’t do. Just do the things that you can,” she said.
George measured success through love and life experiences. He squeezed two lifetimes into 46 years, starting with his marriage to Nicole in 2010, when he became a stepdad. According to George, being a father to Alex was the greatest privilege of his life.
Ironically, George and Nicole went to the same middle and high school but George was a “band geek” and would say Nicole “was too cool for him.” After reconnecting later in life, they planned their first trip together on their inaugural date. Before George’s death, the couple visited all 50 states, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Panama, the Caribbean and more. Their 2015 cruise to Skagway led to their eventual exodus north from Florida and embracing the windy city as home.
Patrons who visit Klondike Bikes will miss the disorganized chaos of George’s desk as he attempted to complete a task, but more than likely got sidetracked into a wormhole of internet searches. George was known for forgetting his cell phone when conducting tours, and bringing bikers back late because there was always more information to share.
“He should have been fired many times,” Nicole joked.
Along with amassing trivia, George also collected socks.
“He loved socks – brand new socks,” Nicole said. “He thought they were the best thing on the planet. He would always tell people that he wanted to start a business called Sock A Day. You could get a subscription to get new socks to wear every day, and then you just send them back and they would get donated to another country.”
In honor of George, friends and family are invited to the Eagles F.O.E. #25 on April 8 for a celebration of life. In terms of dress code, a fun pair of socks is encouraged. Cake pops will be served, because for George, one of the best parts of being an adult was the ability to go to the grocery store and buy a birthday cake, even when it wasn’t his birthday.
George leaves behind his wife, Nicole Goodman, son, Alex Goodman, daughter-in-law, Jessica Hanson, mother, Theodora Butt, sister, Nancy Kornbluh (Richard), brother, Peter Butt (Jane), multiple nieces and nephews and puppy Woody Mac. A Go Fund Me page is active to help cover the costs of George’s medical expenses.
Nicole reflected on the countless acts of service George performed, such as learning to make bagels and pizza, because they were her favorite.
“I knew how much he loved me. I felt it every single day,” she said.