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Don's Story

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Don P. Button, 86, Kokomo, passed away at 11:42 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. He was born July 15, 1931, in Noblesville, to John H. and Doris (Parker) Button. After Doris's death, John married Isabelle Hill. On June 30, 1956, Don married Ann Kaegi, at the Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and they enjoyed 59 years of marriage before Ann's passing on May 6, 2015.
Don was a 1949 graduate of Kokomo High School, where he was a member of the football and track teams, editor of the school newspaper and senior class president. In 1953, he graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a bachelor's degree and was president of his social fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, as well as a distinguished military ROTC graduate. While attending IU, he rode in the first and second Little 500s. In 1956, Don graduated from Indiana University Bloomington Law School. He also attended the University of Michigan for two summers doing graduate work in business school. Following college, he joined the United States Air Force, serving in the JAG department, and was stationed in Montgomery, Alabama.
Don had been a member of Boy Scout Troop 21 and the Order of the Arrow and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He was also an active member of First Congregational Church for more than 70 years and had served on the board of trustees as chairman and moderator. He was a former member of the YMCA board of directors, serving as president and treasurer; the Y's Men's Club, serving as president; the YWCA board of trustees, serving as president; the United Way of Howard County board of directors, serving as president and treasurer; the Kokomo Noon Rotary Club board of directors, serving as president; the Four Mile Hill Homeowners Association board of directors, serving as president for more than 40 years; and the Kokomo New Car Dealers Association, serving as executive secretary for more than 45 years. He was also former campaign chairman for the March of Dimes, as well as campaign coordinator for Elwood Hillis during his first five elections as U.S. congressman.
Don enjoyed a legal career in Howard County that spanned more than 60 years. He served as a former deputy prosecutor, assistant city attorney and plan commission attorney and worked alongside Judge William Menges, Elwood Hillis, Glen Hillis, Paul Hillis, Judge John Marshall and Judge Eleanor Stein. Eventually, his career led him into practice with Gene McGarvey, Tom Trauring, Brian Oaks, Alan Wilson and Cheyenne Shepherd. Don was also an ownership partner with Rex Gingerich in the Button Motors, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealership.
Don was known for his very dry sense of humor. He had a wonderful way with people of all ages. He loved entertaining, playing cards and games, golfing and tinkering on various projects. He enjoyed fishing and boating on Lake Maxinkuckee in Culver. He had a love and passion for the community of Kokomo, and in 2013, received the distinguished citizen award from the Boy Scouts of America.
Survivors include his daughter, Elizabeth Ann (Charles) Ballew, Indianapolis; grandchildren, Anna (Benjamin), Colin and Parker; great-granddaughter, Annemarie; brother, Dr. John D. (Meredith) Button, Florida; sister-in-law, Susan (Eric) Kaegi Jones, Silver Springs, Maryland; niece, Kristen Thibodeau; nephews, Scott Button and Eric Jones; and extended family.
In addition to his wife, Ann Button, he was preceded in death by his parents and stepmother.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, at First Congregational Christian Church, 505 W. Mulberry St., Kokomo, with Pastor Jon Tice officiating. Burial will follow in Kokomo Memorial Park Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Shirley & Stout Funeral Home & Crematory, 1315 W. Lincoln Road, Kokomo, and one hour prior to the service on Tuesday at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made in Don's memory to the First Congregational Church. Messages of condolence may be left online at www.shirleyandstout.com.
Published on November 24, 2017
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