A longtime Madison County Sheriff’s Department officer died Monday doing what he loved — passing on his knowledge to the younger generation.
Ray Botterbush, 62, died in his sleep Monday morning at a Boy Scout camp off Camp Lane near Hettick, Macoupin County Coroner Brad Targhetta said. Botterbush was pronounced dead at 8:30 a.m.
The cause of death is under investigation but no foul play was involved, Targhetta said.
Madison County Sheriff Bob Hertz said Botterbush started working for the sheriff’s department in 1973 and retired in 2012. Most of his career was spent patrolling his hometown of Godfrey; he also worked as part of the courthouse security operation.
“Ray was a dependable man,” Hertz said. “He very seldom took off work and was one of those people you could always count on being there.
“For over 30 years, we not only worked together, we lived two doors down in Godfrey," Hertz said. "So we saw quite a bit of each other in the social and professional track.”
Hertz said Botterbush was known for his love of Scouting. Botterbush was an Eagle Scout and helped many other Scouts attain the organization’s highest rank. Botterbush also taught firearms safety to young people, participated in local politics and was an active Rotary Club member.
“He was just an all-around involved, good person,” Hertz said.
Hertz said he and his colleagues at the Sheriff’s Department were in shock Monday after they heard of Botterbush’s death.
“Nobody saw this one coming,” he said. “I had just talked to Ray no more than two weeks ago on the phone and everything was fine.”
The sheriff said he plans to talk to Botterbush’s family Tuesday about the department organizing a tribute to him.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, at Gent Funeral Home, 2409 State St., Alton, where services will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19. Burial will follow at Valhalla Memorial Park in Godfrey.