West Seattle Blog… | Remembering Lois N. Batts, 1930-2022
Family and friends remember Lois Norman Batts. Here is what they share with their community:
Lois Norman Batts entered fully into the presence of the Lord on Saturday, January 8, 2022. She will be dearly missed until her family and friends find her, one day, in paradise.
She was born to Day and Verna Wallen on February 23, 1930 in Sioux City, Iowa – the youngest of 6 children. Her family moved to the Key Peninsula in Washington State in the early 1940s. As a young woman, she worked as a switchboard operator, long distance operator, and attended classes at the University of Washington. In the fall of 1956, she met the love of her life, William (Bill) Batts. They soon became engaged, then married on February 22, 1957, just a day before her 27th birthday. She joked about how she aged a year overnight.
They bought a house and settled in the Genesee Hill neighborhood of West Seattle and raised 3 children there – Ben, Bill and Janis.
Lois was a stay-at-home mom for many years and was involved in children’s schools. She has been involved in many ministries and programs at the West Side Presbyterian Church during her 62-year membership, including women’s circle groups, married ring group, school teaching Sunday work, VBS teaching/assisting, as a deaconess, MOPPETS childcare volunteer, etc. Study Fellowship for many years and volunteer with Friend-to-Friend, which is an organization that matches volunteers with seniors who regularly need the company of a friend. Lois participated in the West Seattle Hi-Yu Parade many summers carrying a banner for Friend-to-Friend which drove vans and buses from local seniors’ residences.
Lois always put others first. As a non-skier, she participated in all family ski trips every other winter weekend at Crystal Mountain to provide maternal care, warmth, meals, encouragement and all that it takes to prepare a family of 5 people. . She also supported Bill in his other hobbies, namely raising and showing dahlias, boating and fishing. During the last years of her mother’s life, Lois cared for her 24 hours a day at home.
When the children were older, Lois returned to work. She started working in the kitchen at the Modern Care Nursing Home, then moved on to work as an activity assistant. She then worked at The Kenney Home as an activities assistant. Even after retiring, she continued for many years to run a course for residents in the making of Kenney Kards, which were sold to help raise money for the Kenney Benevolent Fund.
Lois enjoyed traveling with Bill: a road trip in the United States and Canada, they took many cruises (Caribbean, Australia, Hawaii, Alaska, Panama Canal), a trip to Europe (France, England, Italy), many October trips to Maui, timeshare weeks at Wapato Point in Chelan. She also enjoyed playing card games and dominoes with her family and friends, making ceramic decorations, watching Mariners games and spending time with her grandchildren.
In 1997 they sold their house and then moved into The Kenney self-contained apartments. They were the youngsters there and felt like royalty as they gazed out from the windows of their 4th floor apartment over the beautiful lawn and gardens. In early 2019, they moved into assisted living as Lois’ Alzheimer’s disease worsened; then in October 2019, Lois moved into The Kenney’s memory care, while Bill continued in Assisted Living. For the first time since 1957, they lived apart but could visit each other daily. This separation was further compounded in the spring of 2020, when The Kenney canceled all visits to residents of the building due to COVID, which included all visits between people in the various living spaces there. For many months, Bill and Lois could only “visit” through a window. Their story was featured in the Seattle Times’ November issue of The Pacific NW. Luckily, some restrictions were eased and they were able to see each other again in person.
Lois died just before their 65th birthday and her 92nd birthday. She is preceded in death by her parents and all her brothers and sisters. She is survived by her husband Bill (Mr. Bill, as she would say), son Ben Batts, son Bill Batts (Jen) and daughter Janis Kelly (Tim), grandchildren Taylor Batts (Mikaela), Ruth Sonsteng (David), Julia Foote (Spencer), Kathryn Batts, William Batts, Stephen Kelly and Victoria Kelly-Hodder (Ben) and six great-grandchildren.
Thank you to the wonderful caregivers at Synergy Home Care Seattle, The Kenney, AMR Paramedics and Swedish Hospital Cherry Hill.
There will be a private family ceremony on March 3.
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