Ocean Beach 07

Martha "Marty" Button

December 1, 1939 ~ March 19, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old


Martha "Marty" (Winston) Button, 83, a resident of Cle Elum, passed away Sunday, March 19, 2023.

She was born on December 1, 1939, in Greene County, Alabama, and attended schools in that area. She graduated from the University of Alabama as a Home Economics major. Immediately after graduation, she enlisted in the newly formed Peace Corps and she was assigned to a post in Santa Barbara, Costa Rica. She lived there for 2 years, enriching the lives of the residents and teaching English as a Second Language to the local community. Returning to the U.S. after her service was complete, she took a job in the migrant program with the Webb County Health Department in Laredo, Texas. It was there that she crashed her car into another and first met her future husband, James W. Button, a US Customs Agent. They married on December 16, 1967, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and set up their home together in Chula Vista, California.

Martha received her teaching certificate and taught Home Economics in a local Jr. High School. After one year of teaching, she became a substitute teacher in the Mountain School District, while living in their first purchased home in Pine Valley, CA. It was there that she and James became proud parents of two children, Kent Alan Button and Brenda Jean Button. Transferring again, they found themselves in New Orleans, LA with her siblings (and their families) nearby. She enjoyed being near family, but she and James were transferred again, this time landing in Chicago, Il. Both children started their schooling there, but alas, James was transferred again to the Seattle area. Schooling of their children continued with both children graduating from high school in the Kent School District. To help with the cost of their college tuition, she accepted a position as an Accounts Receivable clerk with the King County Directors Association (a Statewide buying program for schools). Her husband retired from the Federal Government in November 1993.

After a short retirement, James accepted a position with Holland America Line as a Security Officer, and she traveled with him aboard ships throughout the world. As a "wife on board," she loved mingling with the passengers and crew, and was asked to help teach English to the Indonesian and Filipino crew members. During their travel assignments at sea, they sold their home in Renton, WA and became full time RVers. They finally settled down and set up residency in Cle Elum in 2005.

Martha is survived by her husband of 55 years, James W. Button, a Cle Elum resident, and son, Kent, and his wife (Rachel) and three grandchildren (twins Hazel and Jax, ages 15) and Oliver (age 12) who live in Newcastle, WA. Daughter, Brenda, preceded her in death in 2004.

Locally, Martha was active in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life program. Until Alzheimer's illness overtook her abilities, she travelled frequently to the west side to care for her grandchildren.


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