Not all promotional videos are equal and few can express what true love means. A production by Regan Pictures for the North Bay Reginal Health Centre Foundation raised the bar on both accounts. This feature was published in the Winter 2020 edition of A Bit of the Bay Magazine, which I managed and co-published before launching Back in the Bay Magazine.
Ron and Janet Button shared 66 years of marriage together before she passed away at the age of 87.
It tells the love story between Brigadier-General (Retired) Ron Button and his wife Janet, who is among those honoured on the Celebrating Life Memorial Wall at the hospital. It ends with a hearty ‘thank you’ to all the individuals and family’s who have made cumulative memorial donations of $2,000 or more.
The project is the foundation’s gesture of appreciation to those who have contributed in this way, in place of the annual memorial reception canceled this year due to COVID-19 pandemic health considerations.
“I was delighted with how the video was an accurate and true depiction of my gratitude towards the hospital’s treatment of my dear wife and to me,” Button said about the production. But it’s Button’s heartfelt articulation of his love and appreciation for his wife of 66 years, artfully captured by Ed Regan, that brings the viewer to another universe of thoughtfulness.
Button’s 35-year military career, which included Cold War stints in North Bay in the 1950s, required 17 family moves across the globe – all while she raised their five daughters.
“Janet and I went to high school together,” Ron says to begin the story. “She was a very pretty girl and I didn’t realize at the time what a really wonderful woman she was going to turn out to be.
“We moved 17 times and I had a very interesting career, there were scary moments when I was flying continuously night after night, Standing Alert would have stressed any woman. You know, I served on three fighter squadrons and two transport squadrons, and she never complained ever.
“It was the woman who deserved medals. She had more than earned her laurels with me,” he says.
“Jan passed away on the 2nd of March in evening 2019. I still talk to her every day. I love her very much. I will continue to do so … She raised these five girls on her own under some pretty difficult situations. And she never complained. Never,” he says, adding appreciation for the hospital and staff.
“I was particularly impressed with our last moments and how nice the hospital treated Janet, but also treated me, treated our whole family.
“I wish everybody else could have known her, but I figured that donating to the hospital is a good thing. And every time I look at it, I can remember with fondness a wonderful woman. And I hope the children in time to come and see their mother’s name on the wall.”
Ron Button passed away in August 2022. See his obituary HERE.
During 2020, 29 people were added to the Celebrating Life Memorial Wall. To see the video, visit the foundation’s website www.nbrhcfoundation.ca/memorial
Writer, photographer and proud father. My mom’s family is from the Soo with its Algoma Highlands, dad hailed from Cobden in the Ottawa Valley and I spent my teen years in Capreol. Summers were at the beach on the Vermillion River and winters at ‘The Rink.’ Born in East York but Toronto never was my thing. Ever since a kid looking out the window on long trips, I imagined living on the highway in a little house with a big yard and trees growing all around me.