Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Geil Evans Butler  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT

Born: 1920 in Rantoul, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Butler was born and raised in Rantoul. After returning with her family from Japan, she lived in Central Illinois the rest of her life.

Biographical and Professional Information

Geil Evans Butler was born in 1920 and raised on a farm near Rantoul, Illinois. She was educated in Rantoul schools and Barry Castle School of Business Training in Champaign. After her family returned to the Central Illinois area from Japan, she worked as a legal secretary for 19 years and owned an arts and crafts store in Rantoul called ''Rainbow's End.'' Butler enjoyed many activities, including sewing, sketching, costume design, painting, genealogy, creating scaled miniatures and writing. Her work was published in craft and miniature magazines and area seniors publications. She also regularly published historical columns in local newspapers. She was a charter member of the Rantoul Historical Society, member of the foundation board as advisor and performed almost 5,000 hours of volunteer work at the Chanute Air Museum. In 1999, Butler was an Illinois recipient of the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award for her role in helping preserve the history of Rantoul, increasing public awareness through her newspaper columns and working with the Rantoul Historical Society. In 2000, the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce presented Butler with the Marvin Remmers Volunteer of the Year Award. She was selected as Ms. Rantoul at Rantoul’s sesquicentennial celebration in July 2004.

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-- Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award