A feature story on Jerry, written by Barbara Hulse, was published in the September/October 2004 issue of FGBC World (past issues are archived at www.fgbcworld.com).
Saved under the ministry of pastor Art Malles in the Grace Brethren Church of West Kittanning, Pennsylvania, in 1943, Jerry made her commitment to Christ with Bruce and in the fall of 1945 Bruce resigned his position with a railroad company and the family moved to Winona Lake, Indiana, to attend Grace Seminary. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Jerry and my mother, Helen Hooks White, were in the same 1933 graduating class from Kittanning High School]
They ministered among Jewish people in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles for the next 20 years, working alongside Isobel Fraser for much of that time. In 1970 Bruce took the pastorate of the Grace Brethren Church of Albany, Oregon, for eight years.
They returned to Jewish evangelism, working in the Tucson, Arizona, community for the next 20 years. Bruce went to be with the Lord in April of 2001 and Jerry continued her ministry in Arizona. She celebrated her 90th birthday this past November.
Recently she had moved to Sterling, Virginia, to live with her daughter, Melanie Dianne Ballard, and Dianne’s husband, Paige. She died in Virginia after a short hospital stay.
The Buttons were always known for their unusual housepets, which included (over time) a rattlesnake, lizards, birds, cats, raccoons, skunks, mice, pigeons, dogs, ferrets, and Rosebud the pot-bellied pig.
Her daughter, Dianne, wrote in a tribute to her mother, “My mom was quite a lady! My brother, sister, our families and myself miss her so much already, but we know we will see her again in Heaven. It is enough to know she is now with the Lord, no longer in her wheelchair, no longer having her fears and spells that came from the dementia, and no longer struggling for every breath as she was at the end. I have a feeling that Heaven has a new zoo in the making, and I bet I know who the zookeeper will be!”