Dr. James Robert Button was born on the 27th of August, 1926 in Florence, (Lambton County) Ontario. He was the 6th of 7 children born to Reverend John William Button and the former Ida Marshall. Dr. Button’s father was a Methodist Minister and his siblings were; Thelma, Helen, Harvey, Ida May, Ross and Doris. His mother died on the 19th of December, 1933 when he was just 7 years old. His father was remarried on the 3rd of August, 1935 to Bertha Victoria Lynn (nee Pyke).
Dr. Button attended elementary school in Fordwich, (Huron County), Ontario and high school in Blenheim.
Dr. Button attended the University of Western Ontario and graduated M.D. in 1949. Dr. Button interned at Windsor Metropolitan Hospital from 1949 until 1950.
Dr. Button purchased the medical practice of Dr. Walter Edward Lake and he moved to Ridgetown in February of 1950. The medical practice was located in half of a duplex which was located at 51 Main St. The other half of the duplex was the home of Dr. and Mrs. Button.
Dr. Button married Nancy Jane Milne in Charing Cross in June of 1950. They were married by Dr. Button’s father. Mrs. Button was born in London, Ontario in 1930, the daughter of Richard Ashley Milne and the former Cecile Mary Harris. Her father was a plumber and she had a sister named Kathryn. Mrs. Button trained to be a nurse in London.
Dr. and Mrs. Button had 5 children; John, Jim, Tom, Doug and Jane.
Eventually the medical practice moved to 66 Main Street. Dr. Button was Chief of Staff of the Public General Hospital and he was President of the Kent County Medical Association in 1976 and 1988. Dr. Button was a Coroner for 20 years.
Dr. Button took an active interest in his community and to that end, he held a number of positions. He was the Chairman of the Board for Ridgetown Public School and Ridgetown High School and for the Kent County School Board. He was the President of the Kiwanis Club of Ridgetown in 1957, Lt. Governor of Division 4 of the Eastern Canada and Caribbean District of Kiwanis International. Dr. Button was also a Municipal Councillor for the Town of Ridgetown. In 1975 Ridgetown celebrated 100 years as a town and Dr. Button co-chaired the centennial celebration.
Dr. Button was presented with the Glenn Sawyer Award from the Ontario Medical Association. This award is bestowed upon a physician who has greatly contributed to their local community and the medical profession. He was also made a Mel Osborne Fellow by the Kiwanis Foundation of Canada.
In June of 1978, Dr. Button was joined in his medical practice by his son, Dr. John Richard Button who graduated M.D. from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1977. The medical office moved to 68 Main Street in Ridgetown on 1982.
Dr. Button retired in June of 1998 and in his spare time he enjoyed gardening, fishing and woodworking.
Mrs. Button died in 2000. Dr. Button died on January 23rd, 2003. They are buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Ridgetown.
*Dr. John Button and Dr. Walter Edward Lake also appear on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.