Commander, USNR (Ret.)
Aug. 28, 1914 -- Jan. 11, 2013
Dr. Batty was born on Aug. 28, 1914, to Dr. Earl R. and Anna (Stewart) Batty in Alma, Nebraska, where his father was practicing dentistry.
While living in York, Nebraska, his parents died less than one year apart - mother, Anna, died Nov. 1919, and father, Earl, passed in May 1920. Then 5-year-old John went to live with the family of his mother's brother, Harry D. Stewart, including Aunt Edna (Yarger) Stewart and cousin Dorothy in McCook. The Stewart family raised him as their own son.
Dr. Batty spent the rest of his childhood in McCook and was the second Boy Scout in McCook history to earn the Eagle Scout badge. He graduated from McCook High School in 1932 and McCook Junior College in 1934. He was accepted into the Nebraska's School of Medicine in Omaha, where he graduated in 1938. While in medical school he was a member of the Phi Roe Sigma medical society and Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.
Throughout his life, Dr. Batty spent his summer vacations in his beloved Grand Lake, Colorado, in the log cabin Earl and Anna built on the south shore of the lake, on property purchased in 1909. To this day, the Batty families continue to spend their summer vacations at that cottage, and remain active members of the Grand Lake Yacht Club.
While doing his Internal Medicine residency in Chicago, he met Marjory Bernice Miller of Holdrege, Nebraska. They were married on March 23, 1940.
When war was declared on Japan and Germany Dec. 1941, Dr. and Mrs. Batty were living in Hibbing, Minnesota. Dr. Batty volunteered to serve and entered the US Navy in 1942. Stationed in the Pacific Theater, he did medical duty in Hawaii and served as ship's doctor on the USS Mead (DD 602), a destroyer. In May 1945, Dr. and Mrs. Batty gave birth to their first child, John Langdon Batty. Dr. Batty separated from the service in March, 1946 and moved his family to Lexington, Nebraska.
In January 1947, Dr. and Mrs. Batty had their second child, son, Stephen Miller Batty. In August of that year, the family moved to McCook, where Dr. Batty joined the McCook Clinic and practiced medicine for the next 37 years, retiring in 1984.
In December 1951, son John was killed in a sledding accident in McCook. In October 1955, Dr. and Mrs. Batty adopted a baby boy whom they named Paul Raymond, after Dr. Batty's older brother Lt. Col. Paul S. Batty.
While a physician in McCook, Dr. Batty delivered many babies, over multiple generations. Following a course in hypnosis in the early 1960s he began delivering babies using hypnosis with the mothers. He was more than an internist in McCook, often serving as a family counselor. He was considered by many of his peers to be the finest internal diagnostician in the State of Nebraska.
While medicine was one of Dr. Batty's passions, the other was sailing. One of his proudest moments was winning the Grand Lake Yacht Club's Hanna Cup trophy in 1976.
Following that victory, Dr. Batty purchased a 41' Offshore Cheoy Lee sailboat and spent many happy weeks each year with McCook friends sailing between the Virgin Islands.
Upon his retirement in 1984, Dr. Batty sold his boat and built a house on the west coat of Costa Rica, near Nosara. He spent several months there each year, gardening, raising orchids and serving as the local volunteer physician for the retirement community.
Shortly after celebrating 51 years of marriage, Dr. Batty's wife, Marjory, passed in October 1991.
In 1992, Dr. Batty had his first (but not last) joint replacement. Little did he know, the next chapter in his life was starting as a result of that joint replacement. While receiving physical therapy at McCook Community Hospital, Dr. Batty re-connected with an acquaintance, Devonnabelle Reynolds of Trenton, Nebraska, and the two quickly became inseparable. That chance encounter turned into a 20-year partnership full of love and adventure. The pair was just as happy traveling together to far off islands as they were staying in on Saturday to cheer on their beloved University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football team. Dr. Batty called her "Angel," and that's what she will always be to the Batty family.
Dr. Batty was active in local clubs and community organizations, spending more than 60 years as a member of McCook Rotary Club, Elks Club, American Legion, Masonic Lodge and the Grand Lake Yacht Club. He helped establish the McCook Dance Club, the McCook Community Concert, and the Travel and Adventure Series. He was also a board member on the McCook School System in the 1960s, CBQ RR doctor, Red Willow County Medical Examiner and a life-long member of the First Congregation Church.
During his last 20 years he planted many trees in McCook and Trenton. He also enjoyed cooking and loved to entertain family and friends. He particularly enjoyed making jelly, cookies and pies.
Dr. Batty was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Anna Batty; his uncle, Harry (1967); Harry's wife, Edna (1957) and cousin Dorothy Stewart Little; his son, John (1951); his brother Lt. Col. Paul Batty (1964); granddaughter, Miranda Sue (1974); wife Marjory (1991).
Survivors include his two sons: Stephen Batty of McCook and Paul Batty of Lake Oswego, Oregon; four grandchildren: Ryan Batty and wife, Erin of Oakland, California, Angela Batty Butts and husband, Mike of Rapid City, South Dakota, Todd Batty and wife, Betty of Silver Spring, Maryland and Tessa Jane Batty Heath and husband, Nick of Lake Oswego, Oregon.; four great-grandchildren: Naomi and John Batty of Silver Spring Maryland, Anna Batty of Oakland, California and Makenna Ryan Heath of Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Memorial services to celebrate Dr. Batty's life will be scheduled in McCook (April 2013) and Grand Lake, Colorado (August 2013) for family and friends.
Memorials can be sent to the Grand Lake Area Historical Society, PO Box 656 , Grand Lake, CO. 80447, or the organization of your choice.
For more information contact Steve Batty in McCook at 308-345-4021 or PO Box 464, McCook NE, 69001.
Herrmann Jones Funeral Chapel in McCook is in charge of arrangements.