Richard K. Button Sr CHELSEA — Richard “Rich” Kenneth Button, Sr., 82, died March 5, 2023, unexpectedly of natural causes in Springfield, Vermont at Springfield Hospital, exactly one year after he lost the love of his life, Roberta “Bunny” Button. Rich was born in Montpelier, VT on September 18, 1940, to Glen and Irene (Titus) Button, and raised on the farm up “on the hill” in Chelsea, VT. He attended Chelsea Public School, graduating in 1957. After graduation Rich joined the United States Army, serving at Fort Dix and in the National Guard during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After his honorable discharge, he returned to the dairy farm where he grew up, and worked there until retirement. He loved the outdoors, harvesting crops, and working on and operating equipment—not always safely, having survived many infamous farming accidents that he would later recount with a laugh. He loved animals, both domestic and wild. He loved hunting but wasn’t that good at it because he didn’t like to kill anything. He was extremely dedicated to his family and had incredible relationships with his three children. He loved playing with his grandchildren and great grandchildren, and they all absolutely adored him. He loved the holidays and liked opening presents just as much as he liked giving them. His friends were an important part of his life. He began every morning with coffee, BS, and “politics” with Snook, Dick, Roy, Spike, and anyone else who showed up at the local diner. Rich loved Chelsea and took tremendous pride in supporting the town and its people. He was the ultimate volunteer for whatever was needed for whomever needed it up until the day he passed—basically, if something needed doing in town, you could always go ask Rich. He had a love for supporting Chelsea school sports teams, especially basketball, traveling all over the state to cheer on the team. A loyal New England sports fan, he supported the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics. A natural athlete, he could pick up something right away with little practice when he was young. He bowled for years, and enjoyed snowmobiling, playing horseshoes, pool, and softball in the local league. Rich supported and belonged to several local clubs and organizations, including New Creations Fellowship; George Washington Masonic Lodge #51 where he was Master of the Lodge in 1977; member of the Grand Chapter of Vermont, Order of the Eastern Star, serving as Worthy Grand Patron from 2013-2014; member of the York Rite in Barre, VT, composed of Granite Chapter #26, Barre Council #22, and St. Aldemar Commandery No. 11 Knights Templar, holding numerous positions. He was also a long-time member of the American Legion where he was actively serving as Commander. He was a member of Chelsea Fish and Game Club, Frigid Frost Fighters Snowmobile Club, the White River Valley Bowling League, and the Chelsea Horseshoe League. He volunteered as Tunbridge World’s Fair Security for several years, and the Chelsea Fire Department for over 60 years. Always up for an adventure, Rich loved to travel and went on many trips around the country with Bunny. He attended his grandchildren’s destination weddings and went on many racing and snowmobile trips with close friends and family. He loved family picnics, gatherings, and all activities with his grandchildren. Rich is survived by his three children and their spouses: Pam and Ron Cantrell of Aiken, SC, Rick and Patty Button of Highgate, VT, and Lori and Kevin Stever of Fairlee, VT. He leaves behind several brothers and sisters: Mary Jane and Don Hayward of East Barre, VT, Joseph “Bill” and Lucia Button of Bradford, VT, John and Starr Button of Brookfield, VT, Pete Button of Tunbridge, VT, Marvin Carey of Barre, VT, Ione and Jim Battles of Silver Spring, FL and Betsy Button of Barre, VT. He also leaves behind many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins. Rich was predeceased by his wife, Bunny, his parents Glen and Irene, and siblings Ed, Norm, Lucy, Grace, and Len. Rich was Grandpa to nine grandchildren with whom he held deep and meaningful relationships: Aeneas (Rose), Aura, Victoria (Kayvon), Lindsay (Ben), Emily (Chris), Abigail (Kyle), Lacey (Luke), Mikayla, and Garrett. His great grandchildren, who affectionately called him “Great Button,” include Colby, Charlie, Caity, Sebastian, Walter, Norah, Eliot, Maverick, Moss, Lachlan, Peyton, and Maisie—with three on the way, Kohn, Tancreti, and Mortimer babies. Calling hours will be held Wednesday, March 15, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Boardway and Cilley Funeral Home, 300 Vt. Route 110, Chelsea, VT. A memorial service will be held Thursday, March 16, 2023, starting at 2:00 p.m. at the United Church of Chelsea, 13 N. Common, Chelsea, VT. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Chelsea Fish and Game Club, 125 VT-110, Chelsea, VT 05038 or Chelsea Fire Department, P.O. Box 264 Chelsea, VT 05038. The Boardway and Cilley Funeral Home, Chelsea, VT is in charge of arrangements. A private message of sympathy for the family can be shared at www.boardwayandcilley.com.
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