1926 - 2012
Betty Batey died peacefully in her sleep near her family at Farrington Court in Kent, Wash., at the age of 86. Betty was born in Portland to Bert and Lela Mays. She had two older sisters; Marjorie Mays Zerbst and Shirley Mays Dunham. Betty moved at age 3 to Waitsburg, where her father and grandfather owned the Waitsburg Bakery. At age 6 she moved to Walla Walla, where her father bought into Bohlman Bakery which later became the Cottage Bakery on Isaacs Avenue. Betty attended Green Park Elementary School, Walla Walla High School and Walla Walla Business College. She worked for the Bonneville Power Administration until World War II was over, taking a wartime appointment until 1945. Then she worked at the dean of administration’s office of Whitman College as a secretary. It was at Whitman College that she met Tom Gehr, whom she married April 7, 1946. They had two children, Becky in 1948 and Joe in 1955). Betty was involved in Walla Walla Junior Club and Pioneer United Methodist Church where she sang in the choir and she sang in a small local trio with her sisters and Lois Sporleder. In 1971, her husband of 24 years died of kidney disease and it was shortly after that when she met a local Walla Walla man, Roy Batey, whom she married Aug. 1, 1973. Betty and Roy moved to Richland, and retired in (Shelter Bay) LaConner, Wash. where Betty was active in the Symphony Guild and Orthodedic Guild. She and Roy spent much time sailing the San Juan Islands, traveling to Europe and built several homes in Shelter Bay before moving to Mount Vernon in 1999.
Betty was a believer in Jesus Christ and involved in Bible study. She loved her family and her friends.
She is survived by her daughter, Rebecca Gehr Rodda and husband John Rodda; son, Joe Gehr and his wife Brenda; grandchildren, Tom and Melissa Rodda, Tom and Jane Moody, Nancy Gehr and Thomas Gehr. She had great-grandsons, Jack Rodda and Emmett Rodda and a new baby great-granddaughter, Moody (born a few days after Betty’s passing). We all love you mom, may God cradle you in the palm of his hand!
Burial services will be held in Walla Walla at Blue Mountain Memorial Gardens on April 6 at 1 p.m. with reception following. Condolences may be sent to Rebecca Rodda, 22841 Singingwood Place N.E., Kingston, WA 98346. Memorial donations may be given to Pioneer United Methodist Church, 209 E. Birch St., Walla Walla, WA 99362 or the charity of your choice.