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Lee Cabutti

April 5, 1925 -
September 8, 2022

Lee Cabutti (97) of Champaign died on September 8th, 2022 in Mahomet, IL.

He was born April 5, 1925 in Stiritz, IL (a suburb of Johnston City, IL).  He was the son of John and Maria Cabutti.  Family members include:  Sisters-Rose Brock (deceased), Lena Marshall (deceased), Cousins-Eddie Dotta (deceased), Magdelin…read more

Lee Cabutti (97) of Champaign died on September 8th, 2022 in Mahomet, IL.

He was born April 5, 1925 in Stiritz, IL (a suburb of Johnston City, IL).  He was the son of John and Maria Cabutti.  Family members include:  Sisters-Rose Brock (deceased), Lena Marshall (deceased), Cousins-Eddie Dotta (deceased), Magdeline Dotta-Peoria, IL, Brother-in-law Clem Brock (deceased), Son Mike Cabutti (deceased), Son Mark Cabutti-Mahomet, IL, Daughter-in-law Gay White Cabutti-Mahomet, IL, Granddaughters Elise Cabutti-St.Louis, MO, Emma Cabutti Barton (Austin)-Mahomet, IL.  He married JoAnne Barlow (deceased) on October 1, 1955 in Herrin, IL.

Lee graduated from Johnston City High School in 1944 where he competed in football, basketball, and track.  He then attended S.I.U. Carbondale from 1944-1948 where he competed in football and basketball.  Lee played on two conference football and basketball championship teams – Corn Bowl football championship team, and fourth place N.A.I.A. basketball in 1944-1945, and was a member of the N.A.I.A. basketball National Champions in 1946-1947.  He was also the President of the Senior Class and President of the Sphinx Club in 1947-1948.  Lee was named the most valuable football player at S.I.U. in 1946.

Lee taught and coached in Herrin, IL from 1948-1955 where he was the head football, basketball, & track coach.  In 1954-1955, his teams won the first conference championships in football and basketball in the history of the school.

He then taught and coached in Champaign, IL from 1956-1986.  He was assistant football coach for 10 years, athletic director for 25 years, and the head basketball coach for 30 years.  Lee’s teams won 538 basketball games and is the winningest coach in the history of the school.  His basketball team won third place in the Illinois state tournament in 1969.  His teams played in the Sweet 16 three times.  Lee was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1974, and was the recipient of the Buzzy O’Connor Award in 1987 (highest award given by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association).  The name “Coach Cabutti Court” was placed on the gym floor at Champaign Central High School in 2005.  He was also named to the Athletic Director’s Hall of Fame in 1986.Lee also spent 40 summers at the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan, the last 30 as Director of the High School Boys Division where he was in charge of 350 high school boys from around the world, plus a staff of 35.  The athletic field near the HSB division was named “Lee Cabutti Field” in 2002.

Lee served for six years on the Board of Developmental Services Center in Champaign.  He helped add a fund-raising banquet and brought in speakers such as Bobby Knight, Whitey Herzog, Steve Fisher, Lou Henson, and Bill Geist.

Lee was also active in church work – He was co-chairman of a fund-raiser to build the Holy Cross Parish Center plus led a fund drive to add eight classrooms to Holy Cross School.  Lee was also a Eucharistic Minister and usher at the church.

He spent his retirement years working on five acres of land west of Champaign selling firewood, apples, peaches, raspberries, blackberries, and tomatoes.

Lee also organized a travel group that has taken trips all over the world.  This group now consists of over 150 people.

He received the “Keys to the City of Champaign” along with his wife, JoAnne, from former mayor Don Gerard on March 18, 2015 for his volunteerism and service to the community.

The family would like to give a special thanks to Bridlebrook Assisted Living in Mahomet, as well as Transitions Hospice for the outstanding care they provided.

Memorial donations will go to the Champaign County Humane Society and/or Transitions Hospice.

Condolences may be offered at www.morganmemorialhome.com.

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Service Information

Visitation Information

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2022

Time: 04:00 pm

Morgan Memorial Home

Address:

1304 Regency Dr. West
Savoy, Illinois 61874

Service Information

Date: Friday, September 23, 2022

Time: 10:00 am

Holy Cross Catholic Church

Address:

405 W. Clark St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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