Walter (Alan) Button

Walter Alan Button, 77, of Lawrence, a beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend, passed away at home on Tuesday, April 4. A tireless optimist, Alan outlived his many doctors’ prognoses by several months.

Alan was born in Lawrence in 1939 to Olin and Anna Button. He attended Lawrence High School and graduated in 1957. A year later, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served his country from 1958-62. Following the service, Alan worked at the Kansas Public Gas Co. for more than 35 years. Among other posts, Alan worked as Safety Director and Assistant Customer Service Manager. He also served on the Board of Directors for Quail Unlimited, the Red Cross, and as treasurer for the Wakarusa Township.

In 1966, he married Zee Allison, also of Lawrence. They were married more than 50 years.

Alan was a passionate hunter and an exceptional shot. Whether hunting for pheasant, quail or turkey, Alan’s instincts and accuracy often led him to reaching his daily limit so early that he’d spend the rest of the day helping his hunting partners’ reach theirs. Alan loved training his dogs and watching them work. He raised several German Shorthairs, including Molly, Dottie, Samantha, Heidi, Sadie and Kate.

Alan and Zee loved to travel. They visited more than 40 U.S. states and parts of Canada. They also traveled to Europe twice.

An avid sports fan, Alan was known to yell at the TV during Kansas Basketball and K.C. Chiefs and Royals games. During the 1980s, he was an active supporter for the Douglas County Amateur Baseball Association.

Alan coached his son Mark’s Chargers team to the DCABA Championship in 1983 with an 8-2 win over the heavily favored Cardinals. Before the title game, Alan promised his team if they won they could paint his feet “Cardinals red” and he would run the bases barefoot. After the victory, the team and their families cheered as Alan kicked up dust, dirt and red paint as he circled the bases. Alan also loved attending his grandsons’ sporting events and band performances. He often took them fishing.

Alan is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Zee Button, his son Mark Button and wife Amy, daughter Kim Ingalls and husband Jon C., grandsons Jeremy and Jack Ingalls, sister Lois Hardtarfer, brother Russell Button and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will celebrate Alan’s life at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 8. In lieu of customary remembrances and flowers, contributions to the Lawrence Humane Society and Meals on Wheels are welcomed.