Jim was born to Eleanor & Stanley Batt in Victoria, Texas. Since his father was a Major in the Air Force, he traveled and lived abroad most of his young life. At the age of 2, he traveled with his mom aboard ship across the Pacific Ocean to Guam and survived a major typhoon. He loved living in Germany. Jim had a baby sister that died at the age of 2 months and a younger brother, Miles.
His family traveled to Holland where he and his brother ran through the miniature village of Amsterdam being the giants. Jim's mom went against the expectations of society and doctors at that time and chose to raise Jim at home instead of hospitalizing him. He had been diagnosed with Encephalopathy and a Seizure Disorder which resulted in a life-long developmental disability. Jim was always determined to persevere until he achieved his goal; he got this from his mother. Eleanor was determined that he could do what other children did. Jim saw other kids riding tricycles and he wanted to ride. Eleanor put on her knee pads and kneeled on the sidewalk, rotating his feet on the pedals until he could do it himself. Then off he went. When he was old enough to ride a 2-wheel bike, he taught himself and was very proud of that fact.
Jim attended Air Force Schools until his family enrolled him in the Lakeland Village Day Program. His family lived in the country on a small ranch near Medical Lake. They had a horse, pigs and chickens. No one wanted to care for the chickens so Jim took on that job. At the age of 20, he moved into Lakeland Village. His dad passed away in a tractor accident when Jim was 21 years old. His mother married John Scott, who also had a son, Sandy, who lived at Lakeland Village.
In 1977, Jim moved to Stone Creek Lodge in Walla Walla. Also in '77 he started working at Blue Mt Industries and did many different jobs there including Irrigation Assembly and recycling cardboard. He had a very close relationship with two of his supervisors, Chris Daudt and Brenda Bamford! He never retired, but continued as a volunteer even when his health deteriorated, working there a total of 32 years.
In 1980, he moved to his own apartment to live independently with support from Valley Residential Services. Being independent was very important to him. VRS became a second family to him; his mother appreciated the dedication, love and support that he received from them for the last 32 years.
Jim loved to cook, hated to clean, and loved animals. He had several pets that we all remember with affection: Pepe & Rosie. His younger brother, Miles, bought him a home on Withva St., where he lived for the next 10 years. He loved his brother, and frequently bragged about his role in the Air Force. Miles was a fighter pilot who served in Desert Storm. He passed away a few years later. This loss was devastating to Jim. The only family Eleanor and Jim had left were each other, and their bond became even greater.
Jim moved to Earl St. with 24 hr/day support after having life-threatening pneumonia. His life soon returned to normal and Jim could pursue his dreams with a vengeance. Jim was an artist. He learned to sculpt with plaster from a long-term friend, Hayes Philo. He was really into music and loved to play his tambourine at church and at dances. He also loved WWE wrestling and went to several live matches, including one in Arizona. He loved hockey and frequently went to games in Tri-Cities with Heather to cheer on his favorite team. He took trips to Disneyland, Seattle, Wallowa Lake, Portland and San Francisco to see Alcatraz, with one of his favorite staff- Ruthy. He was a member of the Grace United Methodist Church and was close to the pastor, Rev. Linda Weistaner. He attended church regularly with Robert. He always took a real interest in others and became a meaningful part of our lives.
He was a gift to us for 64 years! He is survived by his loving mother, Eleanor; his step-sister, Jennifer
Scott; his step-brother, Sandy Scott; his aunt, Louise; and his many, many friends! Viewing & visitation will be held on Monday, March 8, 2010 from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA 99362.
The Funeral Service will be held at Grace United Methodist Church on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 1:00 P.M.
There will be a Potluck following the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Valley Residential Services, Blue Mountain Industries, Grace United Methodist Church or the charity of donor's choice through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home.