Dr. James Robert Button was born on the 27th of August, 1926 in Florence, (Lambton County) Ontario. He was the youngest son of the Reverend John Button and the former Ida Marshall. His siblings included; Helen, Thelma, Harvey, Ida May, Ross and Doris. Dr. Button attended elementary school in Fordwich, Huron County, Ontario and high school in Blenheim. He went on to attend the University of Western Ontario and graduated from medical school in 1949. Dr. Button interned at Windsor Metropolitan Hospital from 1949 until 1950.
Dr. Button was married to Nancy Jane Milne in June of 1950. Mrs. Button was the daughter of Richard and Cecile Milne and she had a sister named Kathryn. Dr. and Mrs. Button were married in Charing Cross in June of 1950 by Dr. Button’s father, Rev. John Button. Dr. and Mrs. Button had 5 children; John, Jim, Tom, Doug and Jane.
Dr. Button purchased the medical practice of Dr. Walter Edward Lake in Ridgetown in February of 1950. The practice was located at 51 Main St. and 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, 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.
Dr. Button retired in June of 1998. 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. Button’s son John also became a physician. Dr. John Button and Dr. Walter Edward Lake also appear on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.