Bert Jewel Batts

 

Bert Jewel Batts left this world and his family to be with his Lord and Savior June 22, 2014.
 
He was born July 19, 1922 in Yoakum, Texas to the late Lee Eddy and Mettie Cecil Batts. His family was among the original settlers of Fordtran and his Grandparents (Robert and Mary Buchanan) owned and operated the Fordtran Post Office and General Store until it closed. Bert attended grade school in Fordtran and graduated from Jefferson Davis High School in Houston. After graduation, Bert worked for a furniture factory in Houston until on May 5, 1942 when he enlisted in the U. S. Navy as one of the 1,000 “Houston Volunteers” who enlisted as crew of the Cruiser USS Houston CA-30, nicknamed the "Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast" to replace those believed lost. Bert achieved Sonarman first class and served aboard PC1194 (an anti-submarine convoy escort ship). The ship operated from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Port of Spain Trinidad. Bert was selected to attend USN Officers Training School and attended Southern Methodist University as a Midshipman, majoring in Electrical Engineering where he played baseball and completed four semesters of study before receiving an honorable discharge from USN on January 6, 1946. After the war, Bert attended Rice University then joined his father and brothers in the Batts Upholstering Company in Yoakum and later in Victoria. On October 3, 1946, he married Arzelia Vernell Luerssen in Yoakum, Texas. They lived in Victoria and started their family. 
 
Bert loved baseball and was a pitcher for the Victoria Rosebuds for a time, he also volunteered as a Little League Umpire. He continued to work for Batts Upholstering Co. eventually becoming the owner until 1956 when he sold the business to his brother Louverne and began working for Alcoa. Bert moved his family to Port Lavaca in 1958 and worked for Alcoa for 20 years ending his career as Gas Plant Superintendent. He relocated to Refugio where Bert worked for Hewitt and Doughtery managing their gasoline refineries until 1990 when he retired and returned to Victoria. Bert and his brother Shelby formed Heartland Production Co. Inc. in 1987 and he managed it until 2011. 
 
Bert and Arzelia were married for almost 61 years. Bert enjoyed a healthy life filled with music and sports, but his family was always his first priority. He was a Baptist and a devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather. 
 
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, brothers Louverne Batts, Robert “Buster” Batts, and Shelby M. Batts and sister Marie Wainscott. 
 
Bert is survived by his sister Cora Izola Miller of Shiner, his children Tom L. Batts, Sr., and his wife Gayle of Cuero; Marilyn Dufrene of Victoria; and Janet Heard and husband Chris of Bay City. He has seven grandchildren; Tom L. Batts, Jr. and his wife Stacy of San Marcos; Brian D. Batts and his wife Truly of Port Lavaca, Matthew W. Batts of San Antonio, Peggy Whiting and husband Brian Whiting of Lake Leelanau, Michigan, Chris Lowrie and his wife Patrice of Edmond, Oklahoma; Chad Lowrie of Bay City and Ryan Batts of Victoria. In addition, he has six great grandchildren; Connor Lowrie of Refugio, Marshal and Brylee Batts of Port Lavaca, Leeland and Braydon Batts of San Marcos and Ashley Lowrie of Round Rock. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends. 
 
Pallbearers will be Chris Lowrie, Tom Batts, Jr., Brian Batts, Chad Lowrie, Ryan Batts, Matt Batts and Brian Whiting. 
Honorary pallbearers are Roy Batts, Robert Brown, Donald Brown, Mike Brown, Ronald Luerssen, David McClanahan, Jim Norman, Mike Norman, Delbert Maggard, and Tommy Repka. 
 
Bert’s family thanks the entire staff of Elmcroft for their loving assistance and support, Hospice of South Texas and Dr. Sandigo and his team. Special thanks to Susie Taylor for the many years of caring for Bert in his home and a special remembrance of Margaret Malina for being Bert's best friend this past year at Elmcroft.
 
The funeral service is scheduled for 10:00 am, Saturday, June 28, 2014 at Rosewood Funeral Chapel; Pastor Barbara Beale officiating. Following the funeral, graveside services and burial will be held at Memory Gardens, Victoria. 
 
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Rosewood Funeral Chapel, 3304 Mockingbird Lane, Victoria, TX 77904; 361.573.4546.
 
Memorials may be made to Hospice of South Texas, 605 Locust Avenue, Victoria, Texas 77901 or the charity of your choice.
 
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