By Outer Banks Voice on October 14, 2021
A native of Pennsylvania, Dennis (Butch) Close loved eating out, finding new restaurants to try, fishing, talking to neighbors, and taking road trips. In January 2021, he knew something was different with his health. Being an active 79-year-old, taking care of a house and an acre of land, he just wasn’t “getting around like he used to.” Upon much convincing, he came for a visit to the Outer Banks where his daughter and son-in-law live full-time. In a matter of weeks, his health declined, and he went from walking to being in a wheelchair. He was diagnosed shortly thereafter with a Stage 4 glioblastoma with only a few weeks to live. However, his spirit for living continued even with such a bleak outcome.
Over the next 8 weeks, Butch, his daughter and son-in-law visited 26 restaurants, the aquarium, the beach, the fishing pier, Corolla Lighthouse, Oregon Inlet, and Elizabethan Gardens, to name a few places. The Outer Banks community embraced Butch warmly for fun activities and wonderful meals despite his declining health, his wheelchair, his catheter bag and blankets; and at the end being fed by his daughter on those adventures.
On May 15, 2021, Butch passed away peacefully in Southern Shores. In his honor, his daughter and son-in-law has established “Butch’s Night Out” to provide the funding and opportunity for other families to enjoy fun experiences together as they face the same or similar short-term or long-term personal crises such as terminal illness. Whether it is fishing on the pier with lunch, fun at the Water Park, trying a new restaurant, a dinner at home by a local chef, or another activity on the bucket list, it is Butch’s carefree spirit that the family hopes to have embraced on your outing.