From a young age, Joe had a passion for sports. As a child, he and his friends would embark on adventures, crossing the river and climbing the hill to reach the Northlands Park Race Track. Joe pursued higher education at NAIT, where he not only excelled academically but also made valuable contributions as a member of the men’s basketball team. He embarked on a long career in the oil and gas industry, following in the footsteps of his grandfather by starting out at Imperial Oil.
Joe's love for the horse community was sparked by his family. He often joked that owning horses was an effective way to keep his daughters out of trouble. Joe dedicated his time as a volunteer for the Arabian Horse Association, Region 17 Arabian Horse Association and Western Canadian Arabian Breeders Association, serving in the center ring as the Head Scorer. While he valued his privacy, Joe was known for his quick wit and friendly nature, endearing him to all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Left to cherish his memory are his beloved daughters, Katherine and Laurie (George), along with his adored grandson, George Jr. He is also survived by his ex wife Brenda and Brother-In-Law Larry. Siblings, Ivan (Ljubica), Mica, Beseirka, and nieces & nephews Allen (Ashton), Anthony (Harriet) and Katarina.
Additionally, he will be fondly remembered by numerous friends, including Lloyd/Dopper, Carol & Gerald and former colleagues at the Viking Gas Plant who were an integral part of his later life.
In accordance with Joe's wishes, there will be no formal funeral service. Instead, a gathering of family and friends will take place at his favorite dim sum restaurant to celebrate his life and share memories.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation in honor of Joe Butkovic. The care and respect he received during his journey home were exemplary, and the family wishes to acknowledge his family doctor & the hospitals’ unwavering dedication.
Joe's passion for horse racing will continue in the heavens, and we hope he wins a giant Pick Six up above.