Margaret Josephine Button

Margaret Josephine Button

ALTAMONT — Margaret Josephine Button — described by her family as “patient guide to many life problems” — died on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at the Good Samaritan nursing home in Delmar,  surrounded by people she loved. She was 72.

“Peg always had an inquisitive mind and a compassionate nature, two traits that defined her path through life. She believed in fairness and equality for all, and advocated an approach to life that focused on joy, service, and leaving the world a better place,” her family wrote in a tribute.

She was born on Feb. 19,1945, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to Edith Alice Ashworth and Fred Cushman Ward.

“She began piano lessons at the age of 3, and music became part of her legacy,” her family wrote. “While most young people had jobs flipping burgers, young Peggy began her teens as the church organist for several Christian denominations throughout the New Bedford and Dartmouth area. Her love of music of all kinds was a sustaining influence in her life, and a gift she passed on to her children and many who knew her.”

Ms. Button graduated from Dartmouth High School in 1962, and went on to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she met her first spouse, Norman I. Condit Jr. From that marriage were born Christine Lee (née Condit) Tice and Catherine (née Condit) Ashworth, formerly Catherine Rogers.

In 1980, she married the love of her life, Arthur Frederick Button, and from that marriage was born Rebecca (née Button) Julia Burnside.

She is also survived by her grandchildren, Jessica Lynne Tice, Leanna Christine Tice, Sage Lily Ashworth, formerly Margaret Ashworth, and Janet Alise Ashworth Rogers.

After obtaining a degree in theater from the University at Albany, Ms. Button started a career with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, finding great joy in her transition from her first role as a data-entry operator to her final role as a trainer for the Total Quality Management initiative.

“She loved teaching and the opportunity to help people, so post-retirement she took a position as a Teaching Assistant at Guilderland High School, where her ability to have a direct and positive influence on young lives gave her great satisfaction,” her family wrote.

She was also a former long-time member of the Lions Club and a current member of the Altamont Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary. “No matter where she went or what she did, she was the kind of person who became an indispensable friend to all who knew her,” her family wrote.

“Ms. Button believed in magic, and embraced the idea that life was an ongoing spiritual opportunity for growth.  She believed in the sacredness of the Earth, and humankind’s inter-relatedness to the planet and all life,” her family wrote.

“She loved camping and spending time in nature. She found the family of her heart as an initiate of the Mystic Tradition of Owl Mountain, embraced by the extended love of so many she touched. She taught workshops on topics of personal empowerment, which also usually focused on personal responsibility.

“She’ll help you out, as long as you own your own s--t. She knew the path you took, where you were going, where you went wrong, and how to change course.  This knowing was her great gift to all who knew her well.

“She will always be remembered for her intelligence, kindness, easy-going nature, avid love of life, and goofy sense of humor. She knew how to dance, loved to ‘dirty dance’ with her husband best of all, and was completely ready to embrace any opportunity to let joy and laughter loose on the world.  

“She also knew how to get down to business and be serious, and she was the best and most reliable mentor a child or colleague could ever have. She was a patient guide to many life problems, and always seemed to have the right perspective needed to shift thinking in a new direction. She is dearly beloved by all she leaves behind.”

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Margaret Josephine (née Ward) Button, formerly Margaret Condit, is survived by her husband, Arthur Button; three daughters, Christine Lee Tice, and her husband, Greg, of Altamont, Catherine Ashworth, and her husband, Robert Tyrrell, of Altamont, and Rebecca Julia Burnside, and her husband, Todd, of Rotterdam; four grandchildren, Jessica Lynne Tice, Leanna Christine Tice, Sage Lily Ashworth, and Janet Alise Ashworth Rogers

A memorial service was held on Saturday, Sept. 23.  

Memorial contributions may be made to The Alzheimer’s Association, 800-272-3900, www.alz.org, Post Office Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011.  

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