It is with Joy in our hearts that we release Leo Batson to his heavenly home. Born on Feb. 24, 1920 to Howard and Bertha (Cowell) Batson on the family farm one mile north of Castle Rock, Minnesota; he had "farmer" in his blood. His job included milking cows, feeding pigs, picking corn (by hand!) and plowing with horses. What a treat when he got a tractor to do that job! Then he got an Allis Chalmers combine. Leo used this on the farm and also combined for many neighbors.
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He received his schooling in Castle Rock, Minnesota. He was also baptized at the Castle Rock Church.
With the start of World War II, he joined the US Navy; serving as a boiler tender on the USS George W Ingram, a destroyer escort in the South Pacific. They took the men to clear up the beaches for the Army and the Marines. "We cleared up a lot of beaches and never got hit in 2 years of fighting."
After his honorable discharge, the Twin City Milk Producer's Association in Farmington, Minnesota, employed him as a stationary steam engineer and operator.
He was married to Clara M. Andersen on Nov. 24, 1945. To this union their sons, Douglas R. and John A. were born.
In 1956 he moved his family to Bozeman, Montana, where he was employed at the Kessler Dairy for nine years. He then worked for Harrington's as a refrigeration repairman. In 1965 he went to work for Montana State University in storeroom management and food service. From there he went to the service shop doing refrigeration work. He was employed with them for twenty years, retiring in 1985. In his own words, "I retired and am still retired; hunting, fishing and enjoying life!"
Besides his work life, Leo held various offices in the churches where he belonged (First Lutheran and Shining Mountain Lutheran Church). He was always willing to lend a helping hand whenever and wherever needed.
He is survived by sons, Douglas (Kathy) of Bozeman and John (Nikki) of Worland, Wyoming; seven grandchildren, Deann Benson, Fred Batson of Bozeman, Jason Batson of Butte, Montana, Jessica (Joe) Armold of Kingwood, Texas, Jennifer (Chris) Simmons of Helena, Montana, Susan (Jesus) Diaz of Humble, Texas and Josiah Batson of Worland, Wyoming; two step-grandchildren, Ely Madden of Hawaii and Charro Madden of Denver, Colorado. He is blessed with eleven great-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild. He is also survived by his sister, Betty Nystuen of Payson, Arizona; and numerous nieces and nephews across the country.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Bertha; sisters, Ora and Keeoka; and his loving, devoted wife, Clara.
We would like to thank the staff of Parkhaven for the many years of superior loving care you have provided Leo; also the staff of Rocky Mountain Hospice who treated him with love and dignity in his last hours.
Visitation will be held Friday, March 6 at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service from 5 to 7 p.m. Interment, with full military honors, will take place at Sunset Hills Cemetery on Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m. A memorial service will follow at First Lutheran Church at 11 a.m.
Donations may be made in Leo's name to First Lutheran Church, 22 S. Black, Bozeman, MT 59715 or to a
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Mar. 5, 2015