Monday, 23 April 2018 21:56

Dr. Jay Merle Button – April 21, 2018

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Dr. Jay Merle Button Dr. Jay Merle Button Submitted photo

Dr. Jay Merle Button, 84 of Oswego NY passed away Saturday April 21st 2018 surrounded by his loving family.

He was predeceased by wife Liselotte, his parents Willis (Pete) and Pauline Button, brothers Paul and Lee Button. Jay was born Chittenango, NY, April 27th 1933.

Jay was a veteran of the US army. During his service as a Chaplin’s assistant stationed in Munich he met his beloved wife, best friend, and partner of 59 years.

Jay received a B.S in Elementary Education from SUNY Cortland, an M.S in Remedial Reading Instruction and an Education Doctorate Degree in Reading Education from Syracuse University. (Earning him just one of his many nicknames - Dr. Jay) of which he was very proud.

Jay was also a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 545 and worked many summers and breaks for the family construction company, EJ Button and Sons.

Jay’s professional career as an educator in which he impacted countless lives included time as an elementary school teacher, an instructor at Syracuse University, followed by over 30 years as a professor at SUNY Oswego. He loved to teach and he loved his “kids,” many of whom became and remain dear friends. Jay continued his professional working life well past retirement. His work was a great source of joy to him and to the many people whose lives he touched.

Jay was an extremely outgoing and personable man. He loved to socialize, laugh and welcome friends from many walks of life. He was an adventurer and thrived by participating in cycling, walking, diving, gymnastics, and skiing. He also loved to engage with new people. Reading, writing and reciting poetry, telling stories, singing, and traveling were also life long passions.

Hiking was another passion which he pursued with his friends and family. He was a member of the Adirondack 46ers, which is achieved by those who manage to climb all 46 High peaks of the Adirondack mountains. Jay loved to challenge himself physically and set personal goals for himself. Age was irrelevant in his pursuits.

Jay is survived by the family whom he adored and lived for; daughter, Karin M. Button of Oswego, NY, sons Karl (Karen Jean) Button of Minoa, NY, Eric Button of Charlotte, NC, grandchildren Kara Marie Button and Kyle Owen Button, Sisters Beth (Bill) Winans of Manlius, NY, Joy Button (Susan Scholl), Bonny (Michael) Whalen of St. Augustine, FL, brothers John (Sandy) Button of Chittenango, NY, Peter (Joan) of Deerfield Beach, FL, and numerous nieces and nephews and dear friends that he considered family.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday April 24th from 4-7 p.m. at the Nelson Funeral Home, 11 W. Albany Street, Oswego NY. A memorial service will be held sometime in May with an announcement to be forthcoming.

In lieu of flowers pursuant with Jay’s compassion and love of education he requested that donations to be made to the Dr. Jay Button Scholarship fund online at or checks made payable to the Oswego College Foundation, sent to 215 Sheldon Hall, SUNY Oswego, NY 13126.

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