EDINA, Minn. – March 25, 2016 – It is with great sadness that the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) confirm that longtime official Oliver "Butch" Mousseau passed away this morning at Mercy Health St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich. Mousseau suffered critical head injuries stemming from a fall to the ice during warm-ups prior to the second WCHA Final Five semifinal game on Friday, March 18 at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. Mousseau was 48.
"We are saddened beyond belief by the tragic passing of Oliver 'Butch' Mousseau," said WCHA Commissioner Bill Robertson. "Words cannot express the depth of sorrow we feel, or the sympathy the WCHA, our member institutions and fellow officials extend to Butch's wife, Macaire, their children, Sam (SJ), Abbie and Olivia, and the rest of the Mousseau family. At the end of the day, hockey is just a game. It is a special game because of the people involved, and Butch was one of the all-time greats who left an indelibly positive impact upon everyone whom he came in contact with. The WCHA is, and always will be, a better league because of Butch's involvement."
"It is fitting that one of the last things Butch said to me was, 'I'll do a great job for you today,' and said it with a smile," commented WCHA Supervisor of Officials Greg Shepherd. "That was Butch in a nutshell – the consummate professional on the ice and a wonderful, positive human being. I have been involved with the WCHA for 39 years, and he was one of the best – not just at calling the game between the boards, but in his communication with players, coaches and administrators. Butch was universally respected for his work on the ice and beloved for his kind and generous spirit to all, along with his love for the great sport of hockey at all levels. He was truly a very special person, and I will miss him dearly. My heart goes out to his family."
"The NCHC family, including our membership, officials and conference staff, are saddened to learn that Oliver 'Butch' Mousseau has passed away," NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton said. "Butch impacted the game of hockey in so many positive ways. More importantly, he was our friend who will be remembered for his fun-loving spirit and passionate soul toward life. Our thoughts go out to Butch's wife, Macaire, his children, Sam, Abbie and Olivia, and his entire family during this difficult time."
Mousseau was a full-time WCHA referee for 16 seasons, beginning with the 2003-04 campaign; and, a part-time official in the NCHC since the league's inception in 2013-14. He was also a USA Hockey official since 1998, worked as a referee in the East Coast Hockey League beginning with the 1999-2000 season, and also had assignments in the American Hockey League (AHL) and now-defunct Central Hockey League (CHL). As the first Native American to work a game at the top level of the sport, Mousseau's National Hockey League (NHL) officials' sweater and skates are in the league's Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada.
Mousseau is survived by his wife, Macaire, their three children Sam (SJ), Abbie and Olivia; his parents and four siblings (two brothers and two sisters). Funeral arrangements are pending.