Thomas Allen Button

February 21st, 2023

Thomas Allen Button was born on December 5, 1956, in Dalhousie, New Brunswick, to Clark Button and Margaret Gilker. He died at home, on February 21, 2023, surrounded by his family, following complications from esophageal cancer, diagnosed in May 2022. Tom leaves behind his soulmate Elizabeth, his children Tessa and Ben, his son-in-law Dave, his granddaughters Éloïse and Florence, his siblings Linda, Bruce and Beth, and many extended family members.
Tom grew up in Dalhousie, on New Brunswick’s North Shore, and worked summers in the paper mill with his dad. He left home after high school, to go first to Mount Alison for a BSc in Chemistry and then to Memorial University & Western for Chemical Engineering. It was during university days in Newfoundland that Tom met Liz and their 45-year love story began.
Life took Tom and Liz to Kingston, where Liz began her medical practice and then to New Zealand, where they became parents in the late 80s, welcoming Tessa into their lives. After a year touring the antipodes with baby Tessa, they settled in with the extended Cant/ Goundrey family in South Surrey. Tom established his recycling business, Ecotainer Sales Inc. in 1990.  Tom worked from home before it was cool. It truly was his dream job, working in sales for himself, king of his domain & his time, with an office just off the deck from the main house. He often taunted his Toronto colleagues with the trials of his morning commute with coffee in hand. Soon after, in the mid-90s, Ben popped along & the nuclear family was complete.
Tom was a devoted dad, with many years of ferrying kids and teenagers to and from multiple activities and making magic in the kitchen, to the tune of CBC’s "As it Happens". There were years of hiking, biking, camping, and ski trips with siblings, kids, and friends and “all the gear” that that entailed. He loved the gear.
With Liz, Tom saw the world. Their many decades of travel, with and without kids, took them to dozens of countries & exotic locales.  They also explored all corners of their beloved BC, by car, by bike and by kayak.
Tom was a man of quiet, practical wisdom. His ‘love language’ was adventure logistics and provision of hearty and delicious meals. He took a deep interest in those he loved. He had a wry sense of humour & was often the initiator of practical jokes.  His family and his friends will miss him dearly and are devastated to have parted with him so soon.
The family will have a small, private celebration of life later this month. To honour Tom’s life, donations can be made to the BC Cancer Foundation or the Canadian Cancer Society.


What a loss to your family and to those of us who have been blessed to have known this amazing man. The "Lost Boys Club" brunches/ suppers will never be the same without his humour. With heartfelt condolences to your family.

We always think there’ll be lots of time, until suddenly…there isn’t. If there’s a heaven, I know you’re there. And there are great hiking trails. And green-lipped mussels… Godspeed, Tomacito…

We will miss Tom. He was a wonderful friend. Luanne and I were reminiscing and realized that we'd never shared time with Tom and Elizabeth were a good time wasn't had by all. You don't get many friends like that. Take care Elizabeth. Take care Tessa and Ben. Our home and arms are always open to all of you.

Dear Elizabeth, Ben, Tessa and Dave, you have been in our thoughts constantly and tomorrow will be no different. I have fond memories of Tom on my visits to Canada and you all to the UK. I shall never forget the excitement of being flower girl at your wedding. I must’ve been 12? and Newfoundland was the furthest I had ever travelled! It was a fabulous day and I felt honoured to be such a big part of it. The next day, Jennifer took us up in her plane!! Elizabeth and Tom, you looked after me again 10years on in Vancouver, and I seem to remember you ferrying me around a fair bit!!! Sending lots of love to you and all the family xx

My heart goes out to Elizabeth, Ben, Tessa, and all the extended family. He will be deeply missed by each of you. The fond memories of his love toward each of you will live on forever in your hearts.

We always think there’ll be lots of time, until suddenly…there isn’t. If there’s a heaven, I know you’re there. And there are great hiking trails. And green-lipped mussels… Godspeed, Tommacito…

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Liz, Ben &Tessa and the whole Button family. I met Tom 30 years ago through work. We instantly became more than work associates. Our two families shared a lot of similarities. Throughout the years we talked about our kids and their growth, and more recently Tom becoming a Grandfather. He was over the top with excitement. May the beautiful memories of Tom be kept alive in our hearts.

Our deepest sympathies to Liz and family.

My sincere condolences to the family, he was a good man, always enjoyed our chats when he came home to Dalhousie, a kind soul, safe travels!

We will always remember Tom as someone who had a naturally sunny disposition - always positive, happy, laughing! So we will always be grateful that our boys were friends and thus we got to meet and interact with Tom (& Elizabeth)! Although it was far too seldom, they will be memories we will treasure! Wishing the best for all the family & friends as everyone copes in their own way with all the emotional mix of a wonderful life taken far too early! Will look forward to seeing all at the celebration service, and learning even more of the amazing person Tom was! In concern, support, and gratitude, Rod & Willa

We loved Tommie. A fabulous man and so proud to have been his cousin. Was present for many of his milestone moments including High School and Mt A graduation -- wedding in St Johns -- sorry we couldn't be there for memorial. We'll miss Tom and think of him often. From all the NB Buttons xxoo

my sympathies to the family

Sincere condolences to the entire family. Many fond memories of growing up with all the Buttons in Dalhousie.

Sincere condolences to Tom’s immediate and extended family. Lots of nice memories of growing up in Dalhousie with the Button clan.

Epitaph On A Friend An honest man here lies at rest, The friend of man, the friend of truth, The friend of age, the guide of youth; Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d, Few heads with knowledge so inform’d; If there’s another world, he lives in bliss; If there is none, he made the best of this. Robbie Burns

Condolences to the whole family and friends, love to all

This is very sad. Tommy and I were in several classes in good ol' DRHS. Always curious and funny. I want to send my regards to his sister Linda.

My sincere condolences to Tom’s family and friends. I arrived in Dalhousie and feeling like an outsider, the Button clan made me feel so welcome as I learned the culture of the “north shore”. Tom exemplified the real spirit of life in the area. Tom's brilliance and kindness will be remembered by many.

We'll be thinking of dear Tom and the family as they say their final farewell. Visiting BC will not be the same, Tom will be missed by us although we didn't meet up on a regular basis. His imitations of Queen Elizabeth 11 were legendary!

To our dear Elizabeth, Tessa, Dave, Ben, Elly & Flo Flo…..We are heartbroken for the loss of Tom. He was one of THE most devoted Dads , Grandpas & husbands we’ve ever known. A perfect partner for Elizabeth & the center of his children’s world. A successful engineer, entrepreneur, athlete, world traveler & caring neighbour-an amazing role model for his children ! We are all grateful for the legacy he left , albeit all too soon. We will miss you Tom! Joanie & Tom xo

My heartfelt condolences to you all. So much fun was had during your time in NZ and I had been so looking forward to seeing you again this year. Keep up the adventures in Tom’s honour. Lots of love Kaye

Our heartfelt condolences to you, Elizabeth, Tessa, Ben, and your whole family. Tom was one of the best neighbours ever and his presence will be so missed on Harbourgreene. We are so sorry for your loss.

Chère Tessa, Toutes nos condoléances à toi et à ta famille. Tom était quelqu’un de formidable. On pense beaucoup à vous.

Our hearts go out to Tom’s loved ones at this difficult time.

Leave a message of condolence:

Captcha Code