Gerald (“Jerry”) Dewhurst Button, 80
Gerald (“Jerry”) Dewhurst Button died peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by family members, on July 7, 2014, in Loveland, Colorado. Jerry was born in Sidney, Nebraska on November 26, 1933, to Percy Leroy (P.L.) and Nell Button. He was the second of two sons; the first, Paul John Button, was later ordained as a Catholic Priest.His mother told the story of setting Jerry on the floor with an alarm clock and a screw driver when he was 4 or 5.
He would be entertained for hours, taking it apart and putting it back together (correctly!). As a teenager, Jerry moved from Nebraska to Sterling, Colo. He attended St. Anthony’s School, where he was editor of the school newspaper and graduated at the top of his class. He attended Regis College in Denver on an academic scholarship for two years before transferring to the University of Colorado Boulder, where he graduated with a degree in chemical engineering. It was in Boulder that he met his future wife, Jane Giannoni. They were married on June 22, 1957, in Arlington, Massachusetts and started their family in Colorado.
His career took him from Shell Chemical in Denver to Rohm & Haas in Philadelphia, Pa., from which he retired, after 30 years, in 1993. He raised his family in Merchantville, NJ, where he was elected to the town council, served for a time as acting mayor, and was for many years a member of the planning board. He also served on the board of Woodbine Swim Club and was a member of St. Peter’s parish. He moved from Merchantville to Fort Collins, Co., in 1996.
A lover of words and quick with wit, Jerry turned heads with his turn of phrase. He was an avid amateur photographer, taking (and developing) thousands of pictures of his family, including a holiday card each year. He loved the mountains of Colorado, most of which he could identify by sight. He was a walking “Google Maps,” and could plot out driving routes in cities he’d visited only once. A man of great integrity, he was very devoted to his family and took delight in the accomplishments and company of his children and grandchildren.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Jane (Giannoni) Button; son, Paul Button (Corinne Smith) of Anchorage, AK; daughter, Mary Button (Gerry Hans) of Los Angeles, CA; daughter, Eileen (Jose) Gomez of Charlottesville, VA; daughter, Anne Button (Jason Salzman) of Denver, CO; and four grandchildren: Stephen Gomez, Laura Gomez, Dylan Salzman and Nell Salzman. Jerry is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Father Paul Button.
A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 12 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 300 West Mountain Avenue, Fort Collins; interment to follow at Grandview Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the charity of one’s choice