The simple fix here was to take a metal pick (or other thin but firm tool) and carefully get under the chrome housing (ring) at the bottom and wedge it up or slightly forward.
To my surprise there was a slight click/pop that indicated the housing ring was released.
Plug the washing machine back into the power source and lightly touch the Power / Cancel button actuator.
My advice to avoid this in the future is to more carefully "touch" the center of the gray actuator with minimal force rather then "mash" the whole button during use.
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