A Celebration of Life Honoring Button Forehand 10:30 a.m., September 18, 2021 At the home of Bill and Jerri Ray Co-hosted by Gaye Janice and Eddie Holland 120 Cherry Ridge Road Six miles south on Medina Highway Suggested attire: Vest, Blue jeans tucked into cowboy boots Services: Rev. Don Sessom Music: Ray Guiterrez Lunch: Barbeque Buffet If the Guadalupe River represents the heart of the Texas Hill Country, then Button Forehand's life and times must surely represent the soul of its cowboy culture. Born in August, 1937 in Corpus Christi, Button was descended from several generations of Texas pioneers. His maternal grandfather ''Daddy Ike'' Merritt, gave little Norman Forehand, Jr. the name ''Button.'' Daddy Ike took Button into Arizona with him to work cattle when Button was a boy. The youngest cowboys on those drives were always called the Button. The name stuck. Button's father, Norman Forehand, Sr., died when he was 10 and his sister, Gaye, was 9. Their mother, Eloise known as ''Honey'', moved the family to Kerr County. They lived in Ingram, out on Goat Creek Road, and on Kerrville's Main Street. Daddy Ike took those children with him on many trips. He taught them how to ride, how to drive. He taught Button about wildlife and all the things he would need to know to live and work outdoors. Honey later married Bob Stovall. Button belonged to The Future Farmers of America and graduated from Tivy High School. In the summers he broke horses for an uncle and helped with the round-up. Button attended Texas Tech but decided college wasn't for him. He joined the Army and did a stint as a Medic stationed in Germany. He tried his hand in the oil fields but quit after a chain came loose and broke his ribs. Honey and Bob bought a ranch in Chimney Rock near Durango, Colorado, and began a guide and outfitters business. They named it the Pack Saddle Ranch. Bob Stovall also worked as a hunting guide at the YO Ranch and came down from Colorado for that job. The family spent summers and most of the winters at the Pack Saddle Ranch. They would take people out fishing and hunting after packing 12 miles up into the mountains. Button learned all about about packing out folks and how to get along with people he was unfamiliar with. Button worked with the Colorado operation before finally coming back to Texas and went to work at the YO Ranch as a guide for hunters and as a foreman for 16 years. After leaving the YO, Button became manager of the Hill Country Youth Event Center, then known as the Ag Barn. He supervised and prepared the facility for events ranging from the annual junior livestock show, featuring hundreds of animals, and kids vying for prizes and cash from the sale of the animals they raised in 4H, to rodeo roping to family parties. In his time at the YO, Button met many of the rich and famous but he treated them all just like real people. He always took his hat off when he was indoors. He would never swear in the presence of a woman or a child. He was the consummate cowboy gentleman. His demeanor was always calm. His mood was generally upbeat and very few people ever failed to get a warm greeting from Button Forehand. One of his legendary traits was his trademark handshake. If a man was foolish enough to try to squeeze Button's hand too hard on first meeting they would regret it. Button's grip was like steel bands around a load of fence posts. The foolish individual trying to out grip Button would likely end up on his knees before Button let go. On the other hand, many women after meeting Button and shaking hands would comment on the gentleness of his touch. One 33-year-old man explained that Button had taught him to shake hands properly when he was a boy, and he still remembered the lesson. Button loved vests and always wore one. His vests always displayed one large button like a name tag. In one pocket there were always 4 Cheroot cigars with a fifth clenched in his teeth. The other pocket contained kitchen matches which he could strike off his thumbnail with great precision and ease to light the Cheroot. Button also carried a little black book. But instead of girl's phone numbers, Button collected jokes on any subject of any kind, and he could keep people entertained for hours with that book of humor. He was always very even handed in his treatment and interactions with all people. He especially took a great amount of time talking to and teaching young people who he encountered in 4H, on how to ride, raise animals and get along with one another. If you went to the Ag Barn you were likely to see Button sitting with a group of young people and holding their attention completely as he talked and provided gentle lessons. Button never married or had children. His closest companion for many years was a dog named Brandy. When the dog died Button decided he would never have another dog. He is survived by his sister, Gaye and her four children. There were two people who Button became very close with over the years. Bill and Jerri Ray. Jerri Ray, an Extension Agent, who was his friend for most of 50 years, and sewed a great many of the colorful vests that Button was known for. Jerri said, ''Button was one of a kind, a real gentleman and a man who kept his word. He was born 50 years too late. He could be trusted to keep the best or the worst information to himself. He never complained, he was thrifty and never threw anything away. He knew what counted-friendship, laughter and family. He became part of my family and spent holidays with us often and was a grandfather to our kids.'' Button took his mother, Honey, out to dinner once a week throughout her life. He did a special job of cleaning out his Suburban, named Buckskin, once a year before he took his mother to Colorado for the summer. Aurelio Munoz, a retail manager, said Button was his first boss when he came to Kerrville. ''I worked for him at the ag barn. He was a good friend always. He was with me when I got my citizenship and when I graduated from Schreiner University. He taught me so much.'' Another close friend of many years for Button was a Kerr County Extension Agent named Eddie Holland. Eddie and Button were the best of friends. They worked together closely in Button's years of managing the Ag Barn. Eddie retired in 2003. Button retired from the Ag Barn about the same time. He moved up to Bluffton to live in a small house that Eddie and his family had constructed for him near them. Eddie said he and Button traveled everywhere together for a long time. ''If I traveled to judge a stock show, Button went with me---Oklahoma, Louisiana, anywhere in Texas. He was always busy. We picked pecans together and he used to go around sharpening knives for people. Button was always steadfast; he would always wait in the morning by his house with his ice chest and cigars. Button loved to dance and made sure all the ladies got to dance. He was such a photogenic character that when we would be at a stock show Button might be sitting outside smoking a cigar and people would be gathered around taking a picture, or in one case, making a painting of him. He lived with us for 10 years and was always a fine man to everyone.'' Button was a very self-effacing person who never wanted to be a problem or a burden to anyone. He never said anything about going blind, which he did after two detached retinas. His way of announcing his disability was to mention to a friend that he couldn't sharpen knives anymore. His sister, Gaye, took him to doctors to try to get his vision corrected but it didn't work. Unable to fully care for himself, Button moved to a nursing home in Kerrville to be close to family and friends. The entire Ag community of Kerr County knew and respected Button's contribution to the ranch and farm life of the Hill Country. In 1987 the Kerr County Fair was dedicated to Button. He was honored as the Man of the Year in 1995 by the Texas County Agricultural Agent's Association. In 1996 the 52nd annual Hill Country Junior Livestock Show was dedicated to Button. The media always took note of what a wonderful and good character Button Forehand was. In 1967 before there was a beard on that cowboy's face there was a feature done on his wildlife and ranch work on the Outdoor Times magazine. In 1972 the Houston Post featured a column about Button being a guide hunting for turkeys and the skills it took. Button then talked about his cats, two jaguars and a mountain lion. When Button was at the YO ranch, the Austin American Statesman said that Button always carried a 45-caliber pistol and said, ''You never know when you're gonna see a rattlesnake.'' Houston Post columnist, Lynn Ashby, wrote about hunting ostriches with Button at the YO who seemed to be more interested in driving fast than actually bagging an ostrich. Former Kerrville Times columnist Ed O'Donnell said of his friend Button Forehand, ''He approached life with a good and generous character and true humility. His legacy is that his contributions are too great to be etched in stone, but are rather written in the hearts and memories of hundreds and hundreds of Hill Country citizens whose lives he touched.'' Memorials may be given to Kerr County 4-H Club. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville. Sign Guestbook>> 10 Condolence(s) Benno J Bauer Jr Houston, TX Tuesday, September 21, 2021 I never met Button, which I had. What a man and what a picture of a man. His photo speaks of who he was. I knew Bill Carter and another who was a spokesperson for hunting and Texas andBill too was a man of his word. Comfort to the family from our Lord I pray. Lisa Howell Kerrville, TX Thursday, September 2, 2021 John and Lisa Howell from the Howell family Ingram Texas RIP my friend Lisa Howell Kerrville, TX Thursday, September 2, 2021 John and Lisa Howell from the Howell family Ingram Texas Norma Jeanne Stovall Conner Lakeside, CA Monday, August 30, 2021 You left an amazing legacy, a cowboy to the heart, a country gentleman through and through, respecter of Country and the hunt. Many will tip their hat to you. Our family is now one less with your passing! Gary and Brenda Chapman Kerrville, TX Thursday, August 26, 2021 Rest in peace, Button. Here's to good times at the YO and elsewhere over the years. Linda Willett New Braunfels, TX Saturday, August 21, 2021 Rest In Peace friend. Linda Willett New Braunfels, TX Saturday, August 21, 2021 Rest In Peace. Linda Willett New Braunfels, TX Saturday, August 21, 2021 May you rest In Peace. Linda Willett New Braunfels, TX Saturday, August 21, 2021 I worked with him at the YO Ranch. He will be sorely missed. Robert (Bobby) Espinoza Kerrville, TX Saturday, August 21, 2021 Rest In Peace and God Bless You. You are now with Honet, take care, you were a Great Friend!