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Vale - Karen Button 8th Jan 2023


Regretably we learnt of the passing of Karen on Sunday 8th January. She is survived by her Sister, Mother and Step-Father.  Karen was such a beacon of light at our Club in terms of enthusiasm, knowledge, assistance, and all round camaraderie to so many.

Upon receiving news, it is amazing the out-pouring of love and tributes from so many of the Members whose lives were touched so positively, by Karen.  A long time member of over 22 years since joining the Club back in 2000, Karen well demonstrated her skill and attention to detail with so many styles of woodworking.   Well remembered for her Rocking Horses, 'Dancing Button' and 'Straight Button' (two different leg styles), she was was also well versed at making furniture and even musical instruments! Her Guitar, she made during 2013-14 won 1st Prize in the 2014 Be-In-It competition,  an event she also provided great assistance with for many years.

With a personal love of dogs, of which she had many, and of course her passion for football with St Kilda, her other main interest in life was her woodworking and country music.  Over the years in the Club, she has been involved in nearly every avenue of Club Activity, from those mentioned to Toys/Gifts, where she met so many friends and made such impacts on the lives of those Members by her outgoing personality, humour and preparedness to give anything a go.    

And Karen put in heaps at the Committee level too. She was Social Secretary from 2014 -2018.  Karen arranged many functions to ensure inclusiveness of Spouses/Partners/Friends of Woodies, and the great Half Xmas dinners held in July for example.  Her efforts never went unnoticed, and she was presented the 2015 Bill Gillingham "Member of the Year' award in Oct 2015 for her tireless efforts.

Outside of the Club, Karen made items for charity, like chopping boards and clocks, for the Cancer ward of Moorabbin Hospital - again, always thinking of others.  The local Community in the City of Knox, recognised her generous contributions to the area, by awarding her the Victoria Day Award for 2017.   (see details:

As news of her passing at the young age of 57 became aware to Members returning to the re-opening of the Club after Xmas break, tributes have arrived, and they have been (and will be) added progressively to this Vale, below.

Karen just adored working with her mates with the Toys/Gifts Group every Thursday. She called the Woodies working there, her 'toy boys and gals' and she contributed so much to the making of toys for other people - again, demonstrating her selfless approach of giving to others.  Woodies at the Club were indeed blessed with her short comeback to the Club during Sept-Nov 2022, but alas, her journey ended Jan  8th, too young. All Members will no doubt reflect and remember Karen for the terrific Club Member she has been.  We were pleased to have that window of opportunity, in seeing her visit amd allowing her to see and appreciate the naming of the "Karen Button Kitchen" (Sept 30, 2022) in recognition of so many catering events she managed for the Club.

Our collective thoughts go out to Karen's immediate family, and we share our condolences.   Rest assured, that the Club Members can only but speak highly of their long relationship with Karen.

RIP, Karen - you were truly one out of the box for us all at the Club!

Perhaps a very fitting song in memory of Karen:   "Good Friends" by her favourite singer: Adam Brand








Tributes from fellow Woodies:

"So sad to hear about karen may she rest in peace"   [fellow Toys/Gift Group Member: Steve Dollery]

"Karen was a person who we had so much fun with, whose company we enjoyed very much and who will be greatly missed by us all at Woodies."

[ Toys/gifts Group  Member: Neil Fereday]

"One of my fondest memories, when I first joined the Woodies, was meeting Karen, and she showed me the ropes of learning woodturning, and her methods are well in use to this day.  Thanks Karen, for your long friendship and contributions over so many years."      [ Club Vice-President, Life Member: Dick Webb ]

"It is indeed real sad news re Karen. ....  the club might one day organise a commemoration occasion where we can all show our appreciation of what Karen meant to so many of us. I feel privileged to have known her." 
[ Toy/Gifts Group, Life member: Harry Deschepper ]

I first met Karen when I joined the club around 9 years ago. At the time Karen was one of the few female members attending the Thursday sessions. Karen and I quickly became great friends working together on the Christmas in July functions and the fun Carpet Bowls days that we had. Karen and I even managed to win one of them. Karen was always great fun to be around and was going to help me make a rocking horse but unfortunately became ill. She taught me had to make pens and other things along the way. I will miss her bright smile and fun personality. May she rest in peace. Lots of love Ruth Bonniface.

[ Toys/Gifts Group Member:  Ruth Bonniface ]

"So saddened to hear of Karen's passing. She was always so pleasant, enthusiastic, and welcoming. It was timely that she would have seen, and much appreciated, the naming of the "Karen Button Kitchen". Her heart of gold always shone through.   RIP Karen.   Very Sincerely"     [ Club Treasurer: Phil Dunstan ]

"Karen Button,  Yes another Saint [afl].   Best work: 2014 - Guitar made at Montsalvat Eltham." 
[ Woodie: "Scrollsawman":  Frank Collins ]

"Karen,  you were always ready for a call, always there with an answer, always sharing of information and complimentary of other's work too.  You are truly an all round 'good Woodie'.  Thankyou for being a friend, Kaz"   
[ Club
Life Member: Gary Pope "Gaz"]

I first met Karen in 2005 when I joined the woodies.I found Karen to be a very friendly person and was very well liked. Karen put her hand up regularly for the many tasks that needed doing around the club. She was a dear friend of all and will be sorely missed. RIP Karen.

[ Club Publicity Officer: Bill Ireland ]

Karen, your stories about your trips to the tip in the recycle shop made us laugh. What you had found and how much money you had saved the Club. You got super excited when it was something you could use for one of the functions you were organising and it was different and unexpected. You worked so hard and organised all the catering with your trusty friend Melinda assisting you. You told us how greatfull you were to Woodies after you had a car accident. That you had friends to talk to, to help you with your recovery. It was us that were grateful to you. For your love and your passion for Woodworking that inspired us to make things we might not of thought of making. Like the little ashes boxes, for your pet puppies. The pens that gave you great pleasure, the laughs you got when you lost pen parts up the dust extraction system. It is with heartfelt regret that we will never see your smiling face, your BIG hello’s when you came through the door ever again. I will miss our long chats over tea breaks and in the office. You WILL be very sadly missed. RIP Karen. Sincerely Lynette
[ Club Secretary: Lynette Hartley ]




Other Woodies, keen to share their tribute, can forward their words to for inclusion.
Karen's family have mentioned their interest in the cancer charity: "Love Your Sister".

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