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CHARLES BUTTON


1945 - 2015
CHARLES BUTTON Obituary
BUTTON, Charles On Evacuation Day, March 17, 2015, a longtime resident of the city of Boston (West Roxbury) and formerly of Manchester, CT lost his courageous battle with cancer. He was born in Everett, MA on January 29, 1945. Beloved husband of Sharilyn (Lavoie) Button and devoted father of Robert Button and his wife Susan of East Brookfield and John Button and his wife Danielle of Westwood. Loving grandfather of John and Alexandra Button and Jack and Nicholas Button. Also survived by several cousins, nieces, nephews and extended family. In addition to his loving family, Charlie is survived by new and lifelong friends, professional colleagues and neighbors too numerous to name - all of whom supported him during his fight with cancer. He earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Tufts University in 1968, a M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1973, and was a Licensed Professional Engineer in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Mr. Button was the Founder and President of Freshwater Consulting. In his forty-five year career as a professional engineer he served as the Chief Engineer and Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the Chief Engineer of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, and Chief Engineer for the Hartford Metropolitan District Commission. In addition, he also helped to improve the water environment, public infrastructure and public health during his work with several private international engineering consulting firms in the Boston area. His expertise included the analysis, design and construction of water, wastewater and drainage infrastructure in many locations in the United States and internationally in addition to the many years he dedicated to the City of Boston. Mr. Button played a critical role in the construction of the Boston Harbor Project and Combined Sewer Overflow Program and he was instrumental in the modernization of the region's public drinking water system serving over two million residents in the greater Boston area. During his life-time of public service, he received numerous citations from the U. S. Congress, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston, and the Unites States Environmental Protection Agency, along with the Massachusetts Audubon Society's "A" for Exceptional Action on Behalf of the Living Environment, the Massachusetts Society of Professional Engineer's Young Engineer of the Year Award in 1980 and the American Public Works Association's "Professional Manager of the Year" Award in 2011. As a former member of the Ironworkers Local 7 in South Boston, he was proud of the role he played early in life to help with the construction of many landmark buildings built in Boston during the mid to late 1960s. A 1963 graduate of Everett High School, Mr. Button was also the 1961 State Rifle Champion. In addition to his professional career in public works, he also previously served as a Special Deputy Sherriff and FBI Certified Firearms Instructor in both the Essex and Worcester County Sherriff Departments as well as being a certified Emergency Medical Technician. He was also a life-time member of the Mystic Valley Gun Club in Malden and the Reading Rifle and Revolver Club. A boy scout in his early years, he was a member of the Tufts University Mountain Club and a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). He loved the outdoors and the mountains in particular, climbing each of the 40 - 4,000 ft. elevation mountains in northern New England during both the summer and winter months along with numerous other hiking and rock climbing adventures in the Western United States as a young man and later in life with his family. He also enjoyed traveling, time with his friends, motorcycles, car racing, scuba diving, target shooting and he was an avid skier. Mr. Button volunteered considerable time to the improvement of the profession and to public service. Appointed by Mayor, Thomas M. Menino, Charlie also served as the Chairman of the Boston Conservation Commission for more than a decade. He was a member of the Board of Overseers of the Boston Museum of Science, a Past President of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers (2001), a Past Member of the New England Chapter - APWA Board of Directors and an active member of numerous other professional, civic and academic associations including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA), the Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers, a Life-Member of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), a Life-Member of the Massachusetts Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE), the Boston Harbor Association, the Charles River Watershed Association, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, the Tufts University Civil Engineering Alumni Association and the Everett High School 50th Anniversary Reunion Committee. In addition to public service and democracy, he also believed very strongly in charity and in particular the Salvation Army. Visiting hours in the P.E. Murray-F.J. Higgins, George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home 2000 Centre St., WEST ROXBURY, Friday from 4-8pm followed by a Funeral Service beginning at 8pm in the funeral home. Relatives and friends kindly invited. Interment private. A celebration of life will follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Charles' memory to The Salvation Army, 1500 Washington St. Boston, MA 02118 or to the . For directions guestbook and full obituary www.pemurrayfuneral.com

P E Murray-F.J. Higgins Funeral Home

George F. Doherty & Sons

(617) 325-2000
Published in The Boston Globe from Mar. 19 to Mar. 20, 2015
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