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RACINE — The Langdon family is asking for help in paying for its patriarch’s funeral after he used his own life insurance money to pay for one of his sons’ final expenses.

Alfred “Butch” John Langdon III, a Racine native and owner of Butch’s Camper and Trailer, died at his home Wednesday.

Langdon owned and operated Butch’s Camper from the early 1980s until approximately 2010.

“It was very important to him,” said Langdon’s son, James.

The elder Langdon started the business out of his home, at about the time he was laid off from Young Radiator. He began working out of his basement and garage; he later moved the business to 3020 Kearney Ave. and then to its final location at 274 Sheridan Road, between Racine and Kenosha.

Butch’s Camper sold and repaired campers, trailers and related parts.

Langdon’s life

Butch Langdon was born Sept. 27, 1946, to Alfred J. Langdon Jr. and Luella Langdon.

Trailer and camper work was somewhat of a family business, as Butch’s father owned and operated Al Langdon’s Trailer Rental in Racine for 65 years, from 1941 until 2006.

Butch enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from Park High School. He went on to serve in the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged in 1972.

Langdon married the late Linda Legler on Sept. 27, 1969. Together they had three sons: James, Jeffrey and Alfred John Langdon IV.

James Langdon said he will always remember how much his father loved to play pranks on family and friends.

“He was a royal jokester,” he said.

Butch would often prank his wife while she was sleeping by tickling her nose or putting clothes pins on her glasses.

Sometimes, the elder Langdon would take the family to nearby camping spots for the weekend — but would still head into work on Saturday morning and come back to spend time with the family afterward.

When he was younger, Langdon enjoyed spending time at Vance’s Bar in Mount Pleasant. James also remembers his father helping the neighbors with snowplowing in winter.

“He was pretty outgoing in his younger days,” James said.

In 1993, Butch suffered a major heart attack. Since then, he experienced health problems that continued to worsen, eventually affecting his mobility.

After years of remission, Butch’s son, Alfred John Langdon IV, was diagnosed with brain cancer a second time. He moved in with his father shortly thereafter.

When Alfred Langdon IV died in 2010, he had no resources of his own, so Butch cashed out his own life insurance policy to pay for his son’s final expenses.

For that reason, Langdon’s family is asking for donations to help with funeral costs. The family has also set up a GoFundMe page to help with Butch’s final expenses. To donate, visit

A memorial service for Langdon is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, at Wilson Funeral Home, 1212 Lathrop Ave. The visitation is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. until the time of the service.

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Caitlin Sievers covers cops, crime and the west-end communities. She's a lover of cats, dance and Harry Potter. Before moving to the Racine area she worked at small papers in Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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