In Memory

Warren "Butch" DeButy

Warren Butch DeButy

St. Petersburg Times (FL) - April 30, 1994

Deceased Name: Rescue worker dies of cancer

Warren ""Butch'' DeButy, a St. Petersburg firefighter who helped save a man in a 1985 blaze, died of cancer Friday (April 29, 1994) at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater. He was 46. Mr. DeButy and firefighter-paramedic Terry Barber rescued Eugene Jackson from his smoke-filled apartment at Coquina Key Arms in St. Petersburg in 1985. The fire started when Jackson fell asleep after leaving a saucepan cooking on the stove. He was unconscious when Mr. DeButy and Barber reached him, but he came to when they took him outside. St. Petersburg firefighter-paramedic Rick Feinberg said Mr. DeButy was on duty until five weeks ago, when he learned he had cancer. Feinberg said he remembers Mr. DeButy reacting to the diagnosis by saying, ""You gotta deal with the cards that you're dealt.'' ""He was a realistic type of person,'' Feinberg said. ""He was a firefighter at heart. He was just as good a firefighter (five weeks ago) as he was when he came on.'' Mr. DeButy was born in Jersey City, N.J., and came to Pinellas County in 1955 from Secaucus, N.J. He was a firefighter for 24 years for St. Petersburg Fire Department. He lived in Seminole. He was a Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War, a member and a 10-year shift vice president of International Association of Firefighters Local 747 and a 1965 graduate of Northeast High School, St. Petersburg. Mr. DeButy is survived by his wife, Debra A.; two sons, John A., Richardson, Texas, and William R., Jacksonville, N.C.; his mother, Lorraine M. Yeitz, St. Petersburg; two sisters, Donna L. McAuley and Karen D. Hart, both of St. Petersburg; and several nieces and nephews. National Cremation Society in Largo is handling the arrangements. A memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. Monday at Bay Pines War Veterans Memorial Park, Bay Pines.

St. Petersburg Times (FL)

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09/21/09 09:47 PM #1    

Don Burge

After opening Shadracks in '72, Butch and I reunited and became good friends, he became one of our bartenders. He was a firefighter and their cook in St. Pete for many years. He was a regular at SEVERAL of the beach bars. He entered Morton Plant Hospital without having anything seriously wrong (we thought). Butch passed at that hospital within five weeks, April 29, 1994. We think his tour in Viet Nam and the agent orange had finally taken it's toll. Butch was a great guy who hosted many, many parties at his home and camping trips as well as a great cook until the end! Butch was in our wedding party July 23, 1983.

May he rest in peace; Don & Tawnya Burge

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